Thoughts on the Wells trade
On the off-chance that you picked this weekend to live in a rock, you may have missed the following trade made between the LA Angels and Toronto Blue Jays:
Blue Jays Get: Mike Napoli (C-1B), Juan Rivera(OF), 86 million dollars to spend on other people.
Angels Get: Vernon Wells (OF)
Really, I’m just looking for a discussion on the deal, but I might as well share my thoughts:
-This move reeks of desperation on the part of the Angels, not that it’s surprising. This off-season, they’ve missed out on Adrian Beltre and Carl Crawford, both of whom were highly sought after free agents. In my opinion, the deals that these gentlemen got were both overpays, and that’s essentially what the Angels did by acquiring Wells and assuming his contract, except that they had to give up players.
- Vernon Wells is a very good player, but he’s not an impact player. He doesn’t personally change the landscape of the AL West race (I still favor Oakland, and I think Texas will be second). If you’re going to pay a player 86 million dollars, you better be getting an impact player.
- A huge part of Wells’s value comes from the fact that he has a good bat and plays a position of offensive scarcity. Well, now that he’s in Anaheim, he’s a leftfielder. Torii Hunter, one of the best centerfielders of his generation, was recently moved over to rightfield to make room for young defensive stand-out Peter Bourjos. This means that the Angels have a great defensive outfield, but now they have two corner outfielders who are being paid centerfielder salaries (given their solid, but not great offensive production). Unless…
- Baltimore has acknowledged interest in Vladimir Guerrero, but has said that reports of an impending deal were exaggerated. Now that the Angels have gotten rid of two players who would likely see some DH-time (Rivera and Napoli), is there any way that the Angels bring back Guerrero, put Abreu in left, move Hunter back to center and put Wells in right (with Bourjos still playing about 130 games in a replacement mode)? It means a weaker defense, but Guerrero’s bat would definitely be a major upgrade over Bourjos’s.
- The Blue Jays, in my opinion, win this trade by unloading Wells’s team-binding contract. Their lineup is locked and loaded; I wonder if they regret trading opening day starter Shaun Marcum to the Brewers (regarding this season, of course). They picked up a top free agent second baseman in Brett Lawrie, but keeping Marcum might have given them a chance at competing in 2011. Even though Wells is gone, Toronto got two positional upgrades and, if they’re in a position to make a move around the trading deadline, they can afford to take on the GDP of Guyana in salary.