Let'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.
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."