TAMPA, Fla. -- On his first day with the New York Yankees, Vernon Wells recalled a game in the International League more than a decade ago and he saw Darryl Strawberry in uniform for the opposition.
"I remember the first time I played the triple-A Yankees, when I was 20 years old," the outfielder, now 34, said Tuesday. "It was the first time that I actually got goosebumps playing against another team. And from that day I've quietly been a Yankee fan."
"Obviously not when we've played against them," Wells said, "but every time the Yankees were in the playoffs and I was sitting at home, I was cheering for the Yankees. Somewhat of a dream come true."
Wells' trade to the Yankees was finalized Tuesday, when New York dealt a pair of minor leaguers to the Angels: outfielder Exircado Cayones and left-hander Kramer Sneed.
With the deal, New York surpassed the Los Angeles Dodgers for the highest projected opening day payroll in the majors.
The Yankees also signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract. The 36-year old was released earlier Tuesday by Boston.
"It's been a whirlwind, but that's all right," Overbay said. "It's an opportunity. That's all that matters."
The Angels will pay $28.1 million of the $42 million that Wells is owed over the final two seasons of the $126 million, seven-year contract he signed with Toronto.
Wells was down to play left field and bat sixth for the Yankees against Houston on Tuesday night.
"He's got a chance to play every day here in left field for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He brings some power and he brings some speed, and he's been a good defender. He's got a big opportunity here."
-- The Associated Press