Jays Unload on Angels

January 22, 2011 at 11:00 am 2 comments

Alex Anthopoulos

Yesterday the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a Houdini act and actually traded Vernon Wells and his contract to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. That’s right, Wells and his albatross of a contract for two actual players that add value, causing one of the biggest laughing stocks I have ever seen on Twitter.

Wells is coming off his best season, according to fWAR (4.0), of his career and roughly his third best season offensively while only posting a .331 OBP and getting most of his production from his offensive friendly home stadium. And over the past three seasons Wells has been a -35.9 fielder. Wells probably belongs in LF now but the Angels seem like they will play him in CF.

The Angels are now paying $52M in 2011 to three outfielders and one of them (Gary Matthews Jr.) doesn’t even play on the team, and I could only imagine how bad that outfield would be if he was playing for them in 2011.  Not only is the outfield expensive, old, and praying to be league average, but they now have Jeff Mathis, who has a career slash line of .199/.265/.311 and a career -0.8 fWAR as their starting catcher if Hank Conger‘s poor defense doesn’t improve this spring.

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos looks like a genius this off season.  Not only did he unload roughly $75M of sunken cost but got Mike Napoli, who will probably hit 30 homeruns while playing half the games at catcher and splitting time at 1B and DH, and my boy MLBreports thinks he can hit 40 playing in Toronto, but he also got Juan Rivera, who is a nice bench piece and a free agent after 2011.

Oh, to make matters worse, AA also has the Angels’ 2nd round draft from when they signed Scott Downs to that 3 year deal.  Not to mention the possible combination of players Tony Reagins could have signed this offseason for the same amount he is paying Vernon Wells.

AA, since becoming the Jays GM, has traded for Brandon Morrow and Yunel Escobar, turned Roy Halladay into  Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud, and Anthony Gose, had a good draft in 2010, made a splash in international signings by landing Adeiny Hechavarria and Adonis Cardona, and he has turned his 2010 expiring contracts into extra draft picks (he has 7 picks by the end of the 2nd round).

Angels GM Tony Reagins has done nothing but fail this offseason to sign any big-time players, and in turn he awarded the fans by trading for Vernon Wells.  Good job Reagins and Angels ownership, the only thing you will see with rising sale totals are pitchforks and torches.

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