His baseball shortcomings are reason enough not to sign Vernon Wells, but as Ken Rosenthal pointed out yesterday, not signing him has an added bonus: it could save him a million dollars in taxes.
Wells lives in Texas. If he stays home all summer, the money he is owned by the Angels and Yankees is all taxable in Texas, which has no state income tax. If he signs with anyone but the Rangers, Astros, Marlins, Rays and Mariners — major league cities in states without state income taxes — he’s have to pay the taxman for home earnings. No matter where he’d sign he’d have to pay taxes for earnings made on road games in states with an income tax.
So: do Vernon Wells a solid. Don’t sign him.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.