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Vernon Wells is critical of Rangers' handling of Michael Young

February 18, 2011 | 10:34 am

Wells_350 There's no doubt who new Angels left fielder Vernon Wells is siding with in the Michael Young saga.

Wells, who reported to camp Friday in advance of Saturday's first full-squad workout, and Young were both drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 and, though they've played on different big league teams, have been best friends for years.

The two have stayed in touch during a winter in which the Rangers publicly announced that Young had asked for a trade and Young blasted the team for its handling of his situation. Young, for years the face of the franchise, lost his third-base job to Adrian Beltre, and the team continues to shop him.

"It's been handled poorly on their end, I'll say that," Wells said of the Rangers. "Of course, I dealt with it in a completely different way. I dealt with it in-house, which was the right way to do things. He’s having to deal with it, unfortunately, publicly. It creates all kinds of problems."

News of Wells being traded to the Angels in January didn't break until a few hours before the deal was officially announced.

"It just gives me a greater respect for the way Alex [Anthopoulos, Toronto general manager] handled this trade and the way Tony [Reagins, Angels GM] handled it. They kept it in-house. Even if it didn’t happen, no one would have heard about it. It’s one of those situations where it’s our business."

There was some speculation the Angels would pursue Young, who has three years and $48 million left on his contract, but Reagins said he has not engaged the Rangers in trade talks.

"I would love to have him," Wells said.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Vernon Wells. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Reuters