Vernon Wells Traded to Angels

bluejaysLet's get the business side of things out of the way first. Vernon Wells will make $86 million over the next four years. Many call it one of the worst contracts in MLB, virtually unmovable. GM Alex Anthopoulos just moved this unmovable contract, without sending any money to Anaheim.

I used to analyze trades strictly by what's leaving and what's arriving. Vernon Wells has been a class act here in Toronto since making his debut on August 30, 1999. Last season, he became the fourth Jay to have three or more seasons with at least 30 home runs. (You can guess the other three in the comments.) That's right, he bounced back with a good year, but he was never going to earn his monster contract. Still, if you leave the contact out of it, we'd all take a Vernon Wells over a Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli, wouldn't we?

But we can't look at trades that way any more, and that makes Alex Anthopoulos GM of the year. First he acquired Kyle Drabek and two other prospects for Roy Halladay when Halladay would only go to Philadelphia, now he's saved the Jays about $75 million by dumping Wells on the Angels.

Amazing.

But before we say goodbye to Vernon Wells, a great Jay for over a decade, let's revisit one of my favourite Wells stories. I call it Dear Mr. Dork.

Vernon Wells was getting heckled by Cleveland's Jacobs Field Bleacher Creatures on May 2nd, so how did Wells respond? He wrote a note on a ball and tossed it to the key heckler, Jeff Raycher.

Here's what Wells wrote on the ball.

Dear Mr. Dork,
Here is your ball! Can you please tell me what gas station you work at, so when you are pumping my gas, I can yell at you!!! Now sit down, shut up and enjoy the game.
- Your favorite centrefielder

I love that response. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode "The Fire" in which Jerry showed up at a heckler's office and shouted insults at her.

Like Ronnie said, "Jerry, you're like Rosa Parks. You opened the door for all of us. I can't wait till the next time someone heckles me."

vernon


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Comments (6 - click here to join in!)

Ryan

As a loyal Jays fan I want to say I'll miss him. But without even looking at the huge contract, I still feel he was always over-rated. He never had top Ceiling ability. Saying that, he was a good ambassador to the game and to the jays.

I do wish him well. And I am amazed that LA bit on the contract. Watch him hit 45 bombs next season...

January 22, 2011 @ 6:29 PM

dale

I totally agree Ryan - great for Toronto & never had anything negative about the Jays. Wasn't the greatest player but will still be missed.

Good Luck Vernon.

January 22, 2011 @ 7:02 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

The other three to hit 30 or more home runs For Toronto in four years: Ill Say Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado and Fred McGriff

I think this trade may work out well player wise too, not just financially, remember Napoli and Rivera are both from a team that has been to the post season and they both have experience in the post season. Napoli had the highest HR per AB ratio in the majors with part time ABs last year and hit 26 homeruns out of the 8th spot in the order, he could easily hit behind Bautista here and Rivera is a guy who may benefit in the Dome and be able to not just hit 20-25 bombs with playing time but should be able to take advantage of the turf and hit more doubles at the Dome, I like the move, still hoping Eric Chavez pans out and they can slot him in at third, Then Rivera becomes a fourth outfielder and one of the strongest bats they have had off the bench in quite some time.
They both will make nice clubhouse leaders and should provide some good team chemistry/veteran leadership on a young up and coming team. Vernon, while he did have a bounce back year would have to put up A-Rod like numbers to earn the money he was making and lets face it, hes due for an injury or two next year. Its not McGriff/Fernandez for Carter/Alomar but its a trade that should and could help establish this club as a real player in the East starting this year especially considering the Yankees and Rays by my estimations both took steps backwards

January 22, 2011 @ 9:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Buffalo Boy Mike

You nailed the other three.

Fred McGriff
Joe Carter
Carlos Delgado

January 23, 2011 @ 11:53 AM

Douglas

@Buffalo Boy Mike - thanks for using the "right" name of "(Sky)Dome" for the otherwise generic, corporately named stadium.

It will be interesting to see what Alex Anthopolous can accomplish with some of his now freed up payroll.

January 23, 2011 @ 4:17 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

@Toronto Mike, I almost put Shawn Green on that list but decided to go with McGriff

January 24, 2011 @ 10:47 AM

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