Don't kill the messenger! Austin Wells' surge to end the 2023 season has given the Yankees hope for 2024, since he was able to make everyone shift their attention from the other underperforming youngsters.
That said ... should Wells stand in the way of the Yankees acquiring Juan Soto? Or someone of that semblance of caliber? Absolutely not. This is why you make blockbuster trades. And this is how you sell at a peak.
Do we want to see Wells depart? Absolutely not! But there are far too many problems with the roster to simply pencil him in as an immovable everyday difference-maker. Much like we'd prefer not to judge guys like Peraza and Pereira on small sample sizes like opposing teams will, we can't definitively evaluate Wells on his, because what preceded his two weeks of promising play were two weeks of doomsday at-bats.
But this is a "what have you done for me lately" league, and Wells' finish will dominate the outside perception of his abilities. And if the opportunity arises, the Yankees might need to capitalize on that. Haven't they learned their lesson by hanging on to countless distressed assets they overvalued?
Wells finishing his 19-game showing with a .229 average, .742 OPS, eight runs scored, four homers and 13 RBI in 75 plate appearances made us feel good, but there's no guarantee that heals the deep wounds that need repair.