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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134 Comments on "Reaction To The Vernon Wells Trade"


4 years 7 months ago

my reaction is this was another bad move by the angels

davestiebrules
4 years 7 months ago

I wonder two things here: 1) how long has this trade been brewing and 2) how in the world does AA keep things out of the media (and why don’t other GM’s)?

As a die hard jays fan I will be sad to see Vernon go ( but definitely not the ridiculous JP contract ) but absolutely praise AA for what he has done for the Jays in such a short time!

4 years 7 months ago

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Go Blue Jays!

gs01
4 years 7 months ago

I think AA has learned by watching J.P. that it’s best to keep your mouth shut and go about your business very quietly, J.P. was the media’s best friend but AA is pretty sneaky in the way he does things.

4 years 7 months ago

If you go to sportsnet.ca they have an interview with him.

He said that it has been going on for a few weeks. AA approached Wells and told him that there are a few teams that have inquired on him.

Over the past few days things heated up and AA gave Wells a few days to think it over.

HoosiersRebirth2012
4 years 7 months ago

there is no way the angels are taking on his whole contract?? it also says that vernon can opt out after this season, if he opts out we save a ton of money and have even more money available to go after some big names in next years deep free agent class. those are the only two ways this deal makes any sense to me….

$1639238
4 years 7 months ago

I’m not so sure Vernon would be willing to opt out of the $476 billion dollars he has coming to him over next 4 years (or 3 years or whatever).

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Why in the world would Wells decide to opt out on the 3 x $21 mil remaining?

iCracked
4 years 7 months ago

for a nice split league contract with the yankees

sarcasm intended

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

I hope Toronto isn’t planning on giving Bautista any kind of long-term deal at this point. Yes he put up awesome numbers last year, but lets just settle his Arb case at around 8-9mil and see what they have after next year.

baseballz
4 years 7 months ago

I totally agree with you, a big Bautista extension in the offseason could be terrible (Could) I don’t want to swap out one bad contract with another. Though, after seeing a move like this I have to think AA is to smart to give Bautista a big extension until the midpoint of the season just to make sure last year wasn’t a fluke. One year contract; were saving a ton of money so I hope they save a good portion for the draft this year.

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

Id risk a 3 year 30 million deal, thats peanuts nowadays. specially since we just got rid of wells contract. If you let Bautista have another break out season hes going to test FA and command a wells type of contract… whats the point in that?

$1545094
4 years 7 months ago

unless Bautista returns back to his previous level, then it would be too much money. at that point it would not be a Vernon Wells type contract problem, but it could be a Lyle Overbay type contract problem. Overbay was also someone over the last 2 years was making too much money to trade.

I think the best move is to wait and see what Bautista is doing during the season. IF during the season he is hitting, no problem to talk extension then.

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed. Wait and see with Bautista because quite frankly I think he’s the hardest player to predict for his upcoming season.

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

Id still risk it, you let him play out this season and he happens to have another great year why would he extend during the season of a good year when hes set to hit Free agency lol he would just go to fa and get his money, where as if you sign him now 3 /30 mill which is reasonable even if he regresses 25 30 hr hitter.

johnsmith4
4 years 7 months ago

I expect any big contract offered by AA to Bautista will be full of club options. Similar to Hill and Lind. Plus, the club option years will probably match to the years they project a prospect/replacement to be major league ready.

I doubt AA ever does a JP contract with a top player.

4 years 7 months ago

You are right their. Maybe a one year wonder that the BJays don’t need to turn into another Vernon Wells. Though I would still take Wells on my team before Bautista any day of the week.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

Heres my reaction… The Angels got their high priced outfielder and it’s not Crawford, ouch.

4 years 7 months ago

Toronto better pick up part of his contract. Since when did speed get 6 figure contracts. Power hitters and aces are the only ones who deserve money like that. Let’s hope he performs. Maybe with fans filling up the stands he gets motivated.

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

AA is making JP look worse than he already did. Guy is clearing house and seriously building a future competitor.

Casor_Greener
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t see how this is proof he is building a competitor. Everyone on the team came from JP, and all this move did was clear cap space. Until they sign some major free agents, which is still not a guarantee, all he has done is clear cap space

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

Ya and take one of the worst farm teams into one of the better ones, oh and designated tons more money into scouting,and development not to mention money to sign there draft picks ,signed hechavarria, got a potential ace in morrow for a reliever, got escobar for a ss on the decline… should i keep going?

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

I remember when Jack Z built the future in Seattle 2 years ago.

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

I remember when the mariners team was compared with the blue jays team and everyone laughed hysterically

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

I just don’t know how AA is building this team for success. He seems to love low OBP, low speed, high HR hitters. It’s an odd skillset that he likes.

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

Lol hes not building with guys that hes signing and trading for right NOW… clearly hes trying to get as many high ceiling prospects, sign guys to stop gaps at the moment and when/if guys make it to the show, then open the wallet for big name free agents to fill holes that are vacant. Doesnt that make sense? when you have the scouting, draft picks and crop of prospects WITH a potential 150 million budget when he needs it,, sure makes me excited for the future.

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

Obviously that makes sense but every team does that (expect for the Angels apparently). And what are some other of those prospects you expect to be big time for that lineup that they will have to replace? I can think of D’ Arnaud, Hech, Snider, and… who? And don’t name Gose. He’s not a big prospect at all. Their rotation has a nice 1-2-3 punch of Romero, Drabek, and Morrow but assuming neither of the 3 ever make the next step (mostly control) none of the 3 will be a true ace. Then you have to play your cards that Mcguire finds an out pitch, Stewart doesn’t become a RP.

4 years 7 months ago

gose is a good prospect, tho more of a long term project at the moment. i agree he is very far from being penciled into a large major league role.

you’ve either forgot cecil or dont like him very much. IMO hes a nice mid to top end rotation type (low 90’s FB, good change and slider, lefty). he was pretty consistent for us all last year until he hit a bit of an innings wall in september.

AA is thinking far bigger than a window of contention, hes thinking dynasty. as a jays fan, i like everything hes done so far, but i want to see rogers put their money where there mouth is before i completely jump on board with the new regime. things are looking up tho, thats for sure

$1545094
4 years 7 months ago

Escobar doesn’t fit that type, or Rajai Davis. not big pieces, but still.

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

What? How does he love low OBP, Low speed guys? He just acquired Davis, Lawrie who has a decent eye for a 20 year old with lots of raw upside (and is athletic). Gose another raw ATHLETIC guy that AA acquired. Napoli has a career 11% walk rate, Yunel is around 10% for his career. Not sure where you’re getting this information from….All the guys that are higher HR/low OBP guys were here before AA took over (Wells, Hills, Lind, EE, Snider). If anything AA is trying to rid some of those type of guys to sprinkle in some higher OBP guys to go a long with the Hr hitters.

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

Napoli has a career .346 OBP. He traded Gonzalez sub .300 OBP for Escobar who has a career .364 OBP. He traded Marcum for a guy who is an all-around offensive hitter in Lawrie. If he is playing 3B/OF, it’s arguable he is a potential 5-tool player. Davis has a career .330 OBP (Jays OBP as a whole last year was around .310) and he can steal 40-50 bases.

But yeah, he hates OBP and speed even though he has clearly stated before he wants a balanced line-up with guys that can get on base, steal and hit for power.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

He traded a good young and proven mlb pitcher for a good hitting minor lge who desn’t have a defined position. Why is that a great move again?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

He traded a good mlb pitcher who seems to be injury prone for a top prospect. His defined position is now 3B. For a rebuilding team, that’s a great move.

4 years 7 months ago

Marcum was a soft throwing RH pitcher with average stuff, which doesn’t always work in the AL Beast. Trading Marcum cleared the runway for Drabek and others (at a lower cost too)

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

His FB may have been average but his change was one of the best in the game. Maybe durability is an issue. He’s been in the AL East his entire career and it doesn’t seem to phase him any. Lawrie has room to improve but I’ve never been a major fan of his though.

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

He doesn’t really have good stats against the AL East and AA wants guys that are big and strong and can throw fairly hard. Marcum throws mainly junk but he has an amazing change-up. And yes, durability is an issue as well and AA also sold him on him who just had a career year after an injury and there are issues with the way he pitches.

AA took the guy with very high upside in Lawrie who gives the team versatility as he can move over to 3B/OF, both positions we could use him in.

We’ll fine out how this good or bad this trade is in 5 years.

$1545094
4 years 7 months ago

if I remember correctly the Jays had approached Marcum about an extension and he was not interested. the Jays traded him rather than end up losing him when the time comes or waiting to trade him when his value was lower.

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

Pretty sure it was the other way around. Marcum wanted an extension and who wouldn’t if you are in the same position as him and came off a surgery, stayed healthy and pitched a good season. You want some assurance.

4 years 7 months ago

obviously you have to reserve judgement until lawrie shows what he can do in the bigs. it seems that the jays doubted marcum’s long term effectiveness in the AL East whether for health reasons or simply lack of power stuff. given their depth at SP at the moment, the move made sense. I really liked shaun marcum, but i understand where the jays were coming from

the whole lack of position thing is completely overblown. i believe the old adage is “if you have a stick, they will find a spot for you”. from what i understand, lawrie is athletic enough to play whatever position he wants at a high level. that kind of flexibility is an attraction, not a liability. obviously becoming a good defensive player will take some dedication on lawrie’s part, given the number of errors he made at 2B last year but he seems to be a competitor and willing to do whatever it takes to reach the big leagues quickly. the jays have tons of defensive flexibility on their big league roster (hill, bautista, etc.) so their is almost nothing keeping lawrie from making the big leagues very soon.

4 years 7 months ago

do you even know a thing about the blue jays or are you commenting just for the hell of it?

Ben_Cherington
4 years 7 months ago

Yes please :)

Casor_Greener
4 years 7 months ago

“one of the better farm teams in baseball” a claim made by half the teams in the major leagues. Giving extra money to scouting, development, and draft picks is another thing done by most teams in baseball, EScobar was nice, but he isn’t exactly a gamebreaker. Didn’t he decline last year and have a problem with his attitude? Atlanta got rid of him for a reason.

So basically he is doing what most teams in baseball do and going a little farther by clearing cap space. Cap space means nothing if you don’t sign free agents – an area in which Toronto has not been exactly stellar in the past (may be the fact it’s Toronto).

Casor_Greener
4 years 7 months ago

I still don’t see how this makes him special.

So he is making moves, but none of these moves is a major accomplishment (actually getting rid of Wells was more of an example of the foolishness of Reagin that genius by AA, taking advantage of an idiot is not a major accomplishment in my book). The Blue Jays were already 1or 2 players from contention in my mind. Wake me up when he signs some major talent.

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

Did you not read who he aquired prosepect wise? all you mention was escobar? lol we went from 28th to like 8th in 1 year as far as farms teams go, so im not just saying that for the sake of saying it, like most fans… and i think i need to mention brandon morrow again… probably the best deal aside from getting rid of well’s contract without eating any money while still getting quality back.

Casor_Greener
4 years 7 months ago

I think our differences revolve around the worth we place on prospects. When the Tigers acquired Austin Jackson and he came into the major leagues immediately, that’s what I consider “building a contender” acquiring prospects 2-3 years from the majors to me is just taking standard risks.

I’m not saying AA isn’t doing a great job, I just think people are a little too quick to make all his moves seem so good.

johnsmith4
4 years 7 months ago

Yunel Escobar, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Jon Rauch, and Mike Napoli in the majors.

Brett Lawrie, Adeiny Hechaveria, Anthony Gose, and Travis D’Arnaud in AA & AAA.

Not bad additions to Travis Snyder, Ricky Romero, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, and Jose Bautista.

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

naming Hill, Lind, Rauch, and Gose may be reaches but it’s not a bad core.

johnsmith4
4 years 7 months ago

I get your point. Thing to consider is Hill, Lind, and Rauch have option years in their contracts. For Hill and Lind, those years seem to be years where other prospects (lower level) are projected to develop. It appears AA knows how to hedge his bets.

4 years 7 months ago

Cap space?

ju1ced
4 years 7 months ago

I like when people pretend they know what they are talking about and say JP did such a bad job. What did JP do so bad exactly? I bet you couldn’t name 3 valid points.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

Signed a reliever to a 5-year $55mil contract, signed an old Frank Thomas to $20mil+/2yr contract and gave Wells that extension. His drafting wasn’t too bad, considering he had all of 4 scouts. He irked Adam Dunn by basically saying he was garbage. Said he could play moneyball in the AL East, only to say that there was no hope in competing without a $150mil payroll 5-6 years after being hired as the GM.

Need I go on?

ju1ced
4 years 7 months ago

1. Relieve – It was the contracts that were given at the time. No different than GMjr and the rest of them. He was one of the top closers in baseball. No one had a crystal ball that he would get hurt.

2. Frank Thomas takes good care of himself and was coming off 39HR and .926 OPS in a pitcher’s park.

3. Adam Dunn, give you that.

4. Moneyball – At the time the payroll difference from us and Boston/NY wasn’t nearly what it is now. He didn’t expect NY and BOS to go that much higher. 2003 season, Yankees were at 157M. 2008 season, 209M

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

Regardless if he was one of the top closers in the game, you don’t hand out long-term contracts to a reliever. Ever.

The Jays signed Thomas to a multiyear contract at age 39. You just don’t do that, either.

The only thing I can defend JP on was the Rios contract. He was coming off 2 solid seasons, then after signing, crapped the bed.

vilifyingforce
4 years 7 months ago

1 BJ Ryan had very questionable mechanics.

2. So sign him to a Manny Ramirez type contract like he looks to be getting this season. Don’t give him 20M.

4.Regardless of the situation you can’t come out and say you CAN’T compete unless your payroll is higher, that’s a good way to piss your boss of and make an excuse if you do poorly. “Gee sorry fans, but, like I said, I can’t win unless I have a $150M payroll. It’s just weak.

JP had some solid drafts, despite being risk averse with high school kids (leaving us with few/no boom/bust prospects, but, more sure things). JP’s problem was he sucked at evaluating major league talent and negotiating. As a scouting director or an assistant he could be very proficient.

4 years 7 months ago

Reactions to the Vernon Wells trade, take your pick:

1. WTF?
2. LOL
3. Crying in the shower

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

1. Shock from Angels fans?
2. Laughter from Jays fans?
3. Post the Angels being raped this winter by everyone?

4 years 7 months ago

Nailed it.

VegasANGELSFan
4 years 7 months ago

I am still in disbelief. I keep clicking refresh on the MLBTR page waiting for someone to say, “somehow we missed this, but the final details are coming out. The players in the trade are correct, but the Jays are paying $40M over the life of Wells’ contract.”

Really Reagins? Really??? Did you do this trade while everyone else was away from the office? I can’t imagine Scioscia and Moreno thought about this trade and agreed to it. How could 3 baseball people agree to this and think its a good idea?

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

It’s interesting. When the Angels were good they were a team based on speed, defense and atheticism. It seems that every year they move further and further away from that and don’t really seem to be making efforts to get younger.

4 years 7 months ago

Close. 2 is laughter from everyone though.

Pawsdeep
4 years 7 months ago

Seriously……the angels are…..well…stupid…

To give up Napoli as well as eat the salary is absolutely retarded. Someone should be fired over this.

fpz
4 years 7 months ago

You mean Wells?

Pawsdeep
4 years 7 months ago

wow….i drank way too much…

MY POINT REMAINS!

4 years 7 months ago

This doesn’t even mention the hilarious chat on Fangraphs. Some seriously funny one liners there…

4 years 7 months ago

Incredible that someone fell for that 3 card monte.

4 years 7 months ago

AA’s next move can be to buy out JBaus arbitration years (not sure how many he has left) if he continues to increase his power then trade him the year before the contract is up. I feel like if you give Bautista a long term deal, he will create the same problem that Wells did. If Bautistas value can continuously increase or just stay close to what it was this year, he could bring in a great return.

4 years 7 months ago

2011 is his last arbitration year. He will be a FA at the end of the year.

4 years 7 months ago

nevermind that entire comment then…

Mick_In_Ithaca
4 years 7 months ago

He has no arbitration years left. Unless signed to an extension, he’s a free agent after 2011. But perhaps his value will increase: he may hit 60 HRs this coming season, with an OPS of 1100. Perhaps he’ll learn to play CF as well. If so, let’s trade him at the deadline! Sheesh!

Or maybe he could play baseball for the Blue Jays.

vilifyingforce
4 years 7 months ago

If he does I hope we do. For a king’s ransom.

4 years 7 months ago

Might be the worst trade in Angels history.

Also the best contract dump in history.

$1639238
4 years 7 months ago

I agree. I didn’t think you could get much worse than Edmonds for Bottenfield, but here we are.

$1639238
4 years 7 months ago

Holy god. Edmonds posted an *average* WAR of 7.2 over the five years following this trade.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

I think that this move really catapults Anthropoulos into the elite GM ranks. The man simply gets it.

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

Not sure how AA can possibly get credit here. I think it’s more of a testament to the desperateness of Riggins.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

It’s Reagins. And I don’t see how you can discredit a GM for making another GM look stupid while helping out his own ballclub in a big way, regardless of how desperate the other GM is.

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

A smart GM is good at finding those desperateness of GM’s and finding the right time to make the trade. For example, AA took advantage of Mariners situation of having a good starting rotation and having a player in Morrow who they simply didn’t value much and pretty much ruined him. AA traded for him and now he is an upcoming ace in this league.

AA also took advantage of Braves situation with what seemed like a fued between Escobar and Bobby Cox. He sold high on Gonzalez and bought low on a future shortstop in Escobar who in his time with Toronto did well.

And now this. An off-season full of promise for the Halos turned into desperation because they couldn’t get anybody and AA saw that as an opportunity to get rid of a contract and get a useful player in Napoli who provides veratility and a good bat for the team.

AA reads the market quite well and he’s taken full advantage of it.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Well said.

jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

Sorry I still have trouble crediting a guy who, for all we know, was approached by the Angels who made that offer. The fact that he accepted it was a no-brainer, heck, the worst GM ever would have accepted that trade.

Steelslayer
4 years 7 months ago

I think you have to give some credit here for taking advantage of how the market played out. Obviously the major component was the Angels willingness, but there are a few more GM’s out there with comparable, potentially impact veterans with contracts they would love to ditch, that did not get it done.
I guess you figure that Theo has been more creative over his tenure right? Please. The Sox have had the luxury of buying/trading for lots players that 3/4 of the other teams in baseball would never have a chance of getting. Then turning around, letting them go, and restocking their farm system with the picks that they got from letting that type A player walk. I give Theo credit for being able to work a crappy compensation system that needs revamping.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

On one of the other posts it said Reagins approached AA about Wells at the Winter Meetings and then recently approached him about it again. That’s literally the blind squirrel finding his nut.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Gets what? That Vernon Well’s contract was hideous? Wait…..I CAN BE A GM TOO!!!

Eric the Actor
4 years 7 months ago

Angels got a Great person, Ok ballplayer and a Terrible contract

4 years 7 months ago

Dear Los Angeles Angels….

THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU. You traded for the most untradeable player in baseball and have now freed up $86 million from the Jays payroll.

Sincerely…Blue Jays Fan

grownice
4 years 7 months ago

id rather wells then barry zito lol

Ben_Cherington
4 years 7 months ago

Theo…step in while you can!! Dice K and Papelbon for Weaver!!

WTF are the angels doing?? I honestly cant think of a worse trade…this is more disheartening than werth getting 120 some odd million bucks!

flickadave
4 years 7 months ago

I just have to think that Kramer is advising the Angels that they can take Wells’ contract as a “write off”. Just a crazy trade.

Ben_Cherington
4 years 7 months ago

reply fail!! Stop sucking disqus!

Steve_in_MA
4 years 7 months ago

Its like asking a Hoover upright to quit sucking. If it quit sucking, it would be totally useless.

4 years 7 months ago

Angel fans can’t tease Dodger fans anymore about the Kevin Brown deal.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Kevin Brown was awesome for the Dodgers, also the trade wasnt terrible either.

$1639238
4 years 7 months ago

Brown’s average season under that historically awful contract:
26 Starts, 12-6 with a 2.83 ERA and a 148 ERA+ and an average of 4 WAR per year. That contract was bad because of the injuries but it is nowhere *near* as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

4 years 7 months ago

Report: “Los Angeles Angels Press Release in regards to Acquiring Vernon Wells: LOL J/K guize – we want our guyz back nao.”