Vernon Wells couldn't wait to leave.

He was last spotted inside the Angels' clubhouse Sunday. By Tuesday, he was wearing New York Yankees pinstripes and batting sixth in a Grapefruit League game against the Houston Astros.

Wells is Curtis Granderson's replacement in left field now, not the highest-paid backup outfielder in baseball history. He is happy.

"They called me in the office and said 'We have a deal in place, it's just a matter of your approval,' " Wells told reporters in Tampa, Fla., recalling his meeting with Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto. "And when they told me the team, I tried not to smile too big."

The Angels were ready to move on after watching Wells bat .222 with 36 home runs and 95 RBIs since coming over from Toronto prior to the 2011 season. In return for Wells, the Yankees gave up two low-level prospects and approximately $13 million over the next two years to offset some of Wells' salary.

The trade "gave us a good deal of roster flexibility," Dipoto said. "We learned a lesson last year with often times too crowded a house.

"We broke camp with Vernon, Bobby (Abreu), had (Mike) Trout in Triple-A, Trumbo, (Torii) Hunter, (Peter) Bourjos. At some point there has to be an ability to create playing time and allow freedom for the players to do what they do, and I think that's the greatest advantage this trade brings us."