Reaction To The Vernon Wells Trade

Pundits are already chiming in on the huge Vernon Wells-for Mike Napoli/Juan Rivera trade between the Angels and Blue Jays this evening.  A sampling…

  • Lyle Spencer of MLB.com likes the trade for both teams, noting that the addition of Wells gives the Angels "the makings of a dream outfield."
  • The trade "had the air of desperation" to it, says Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  Saxon counts this trade along with the Scott Kazmir deal as cases of the Angels taking "other teams' financial problems off their hands."  On the plus side, Saxon points out that Wells and Torii Hunter are ideal candidates to mentor Mike Trout, the Halos' center fielder of the future.
  • Wells is "absolutely the wrong player right now for the Angels, who have made one the worst desperation moves I can remember," writes Keith Law of ESPN.com.  Law points out that with all of the money Toronto is saving with Wells' contract off the books, the Jays "could become very good, very fast." 
  • Acquiring Wells for Rivera and Napoli added roughly $75MM to the Angels' payroll over the next four years, and Fangraphs' Dave Cameron looks at what else the Halos could've bought with that money this winter.
  • "It's hard to get away from the thought that [the Angels] were better off when they were doing nothing," writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.  Knobler thinks the Angels are taking a big risk in acquiring Wells, who does nothing to "change an Angels offense that has gotten older and less athletic as the years have gone on."
  • Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun looks at how the trade alters the Jays' lineup and thinks Alex Anthopoulos may have to make another deal to fill a few holes.
  • Anthopoulos has only been the Blue Jays' GM since October 2009, but Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tweets that this deal might already be Anthopoulos' "best deal…ever."  Griffin also tweets that the trade could "be the first step to signing [Jose] Bautista long-term."
  • The Jays and Rays weren't the only AL East team with an interest in Napoli.  The Red Sox looked at Napoli earlier this winter but their interest waned after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.  Boston didn't feel Napoli was a legitimate starting catching option; the club wanted him as a first baseman and emergency catcher.  The Sox put in a waiver claim for Napoli last summer.
  • ESPN.com's Mark Simon looks at some Wells statistics that will trouble Angels fans — the center fielder's odd decline against left-handed pitching and his home/road splits away from the Rogers Centre.

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