Of all the things I was not expecting to hear last night,the news that Vernon Wells had been traded straight up to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Riveracomes in pretty high on the list.
I’ve had all night to digest this trade, and I still have no idea how in hell Alex Anthopoulos managed to pull it off. The best I can come up with is that he has pictures/video of Tony Reagins in some rather compromising positions, either that or he knows where some bodies are buried. How else can you explain the Angels agreeing to take on $86 million over the next 4 years for one player who while a good addition is in no way worth that kind of money while in exchange, the Jays rid themselves of that beastly contract and pick up a guy who can catch, play 1st base and DH (Napoli) and another option in the outfield who can also hit against left-handed pitching, which is something the Jays could use (Rivera)? And they’re getting all of this for only $11.35 million.
No matter what you think of Vernon Wells the player or the person who does all of the great charity work off the field, there’s no possible way this can be seen as anything but a huge win for the Jays. I’ll miss Vernon’s bat especially if he has another year like he did last season, but let’s be honest, playing up to the deal he signed is damn near impossible for anybody and the team was wise to get it off the books. Unless there’s something that hasn’t been reported, I kind of feel bad for the Angels. The deal as it is seems a bit like the bully taking advantage of the slow kid on the playground. Time will tell I suppose, but the Angels being saddled with the ghost of J.P. Ricciardi’s Past while the Jays suddenly have an extra $75 million available to sign some deals (Jose Bautista among them?) almost doesn’t seem fair. But as a Jays fan, I’ll take it.