Breaking: Wells Heading To Angels

The Toronto Blue Jays have sent Vernon Wells and the remnants of his enormous, gigantic, staggeringly huge contract ($86 million over the next four years) to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for Mike Napoli (first year of arbitration) and Juan Rivera ($5.25 million for one year remaining), as reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Before we start a parade down friggin’ Yonge Street, let’s wait to see just how much of Wells’ salary the Blue Jays will be picking up.  One has to wonder if this move doesn’t free up enough money to sign Jose Bautista to a multi-year contract.

Rosenthal originally wrote that V-Dub, despite losing several steps in the outfield over the last few years, will play center field for the Angels, but has since taken that out of his story on the deal.  The drastically overpaid Wells is coming off his best offensive season since 2006, swatting 32 home runs and putting up an OPS of .847.

Mike Napoli fits in well with the Jays, who could use coverage at catcher, first base and designated hitter, three positions that the former Angel has played throughout his time in the big leagues.  He was preparing to go to arbitration with the Angels, after filing for $6.1 million with the Angels offering $5.3 million.

Juan Rivera spent most of his time in left field for the Angels last season, putting up a horrendous .312 OBP. One thing that Rivera adds is an ability to hit left handed pitching, something sorely missing from the Jays lineup last season.  It’s doubtful that his addition is anything more than taking on the Angels unwanted contract for a year, but given the lack of options now in the Jays outfield, it could be far worse.  If you want to get all picky and choosey with numbers you could also point to the fact that over past two seasons, Juan Rivera has a .771 OPS, 105 OPS+, while Vernon Wells has a .777, 105 OPS+.

Alex Anthopoulos is probably very busy right now writing thank you cards to Carl Crawford for signing with the Boston Red Sox and Adrian Beltre for signing with the Texas Rangers and Angels fans for putting so much pressure on Tony Reagins to make a move this offseason.

Update: Shi Davidi tweets that the Jays may not be giving up any cash at all in the deal.

If Davidi is right, Jays get a maximum of $11.35 million in guaranteed contracts, Angels get $86 million.

Update: It’s official.  The Blue Jays trade Vernon Wells to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.

It’s time for a parade down friggin’ Yonge Street.

Comments (24)

  1. The million dollar question: (or should I say $86m question) Who picks up Well’s contract?

  2. Now there’s a rumour Kyle Drabek is in the deal. That would suck. But still probably worth it.

  3. … Though, it does at least raise the question of Roger’s “won’t put money in the way of prospects” philosophy that AA talks about. Not saying it proves anything, but that’s at least worth discussing if it turns out being true. (And I really hope I didn’t sound like Damien Cox there.)

  4. pujols money? I’ve started thinking if rogers money is real this kind of deal, pujols, might make sense next winter.

  5. As much as I’d love to starting getting excited for Pujols… it’s pretty unlikely regardless of how much money we have available. Even if he doesn’t extend with St. Louis, every team in baseball will throw all their money at him… and frankly, we haven’t seen the Jays willing to go crazy on free agency, and even if they did, there’s a lot of teams a player would be more eager to go than come here.

  6. not if they look like they could contend. And not sure who else could afford him. no place to play in boston or ny.

  7. I was finishing a piece about Pujols and the Jays as the trade broke…my opinion does not change a bit.

    Also, Drabek isn’t involved…right? That would be horrendous.

  8. Wilner reports it’s just Wells for Napoli and Rivera.

  9. Thank the baby Jehebus for that.

  10. Does this move up the timeline for Mastroianni/Marisnick/Gose?

  11. How about revisiting that Justin Upton rumour, haha.

  12. Any mention of Drabek in this deal is pure baseless speculation and I for one blame Tao Of Stieb

  13. No money going the other way??? Outstanding. I’ma have AA’s babies.

  14. I am definitely getting an AA tattoo on my chest

  15. @Dustin: Have you seen Napoli’s splits? .308/.399/.567 against lefties vs. .208/.277/.423 against righties. I see a first base platoon-a-comin’.

  16. You know, as awesome as it is to get clear of wells’ salary, I can’t help feeling disappointed that the rays get manram at 2m, and we get mike napoli at 6m.

  17. Just looking at the break of Wells’ contract, this trade just got even more unbelievably awesome for the Jays. We payed him:
    0.5 million in 2008, 1.5 million in 2009 and 12.5 million in 2010 (plus his signing bonus)
    The Angels will pay him:
    23 million, 21 million, 21 million and 21 million

  18. Just looking at the breakdown of Wells’ contract, this trade just got even more unbelievably awesome for the Jays. We payed him:
    0.5 million in 2008, 1.5 million in 2009 and 12.5 million in 2010 (plus his signing bonus)
    The Angels will pay him:
    23 million, 21 million, 21 million and 21 million

  19. It’s not Napoli’s first year of arbitration eligibility, don’t know where you got that from?

    Unless you mean first time he’s gone to arbitration, in which case it’s kind of weird to state…

  20. sad to see vw go. careless what yall think but this guy has been nothing but a stand up guy when things were at its worst. seriously with JP at the helm, interbrXX as the owners…. that being said, for what vernon does/did and brings/brought to this ball club one can not be anything but appreciate. first and foremost this contract was (apparently-based on club statements on money to spend) not hindering anything the jays wanted to do or are going to do.

    Dustin, respect your work and agree with you majority of times. but this is not one to charade down yonge st. Yes i may be the only vernon advocator out there, but really who gives a f…. what they pay him? aint my problem nor anyone else. there are not many others out there that i would want patrolling my center field at this stage of their career.

    Gotta ask you and anyone else for that matter, if someone threw 126 million at you and said do your best, play like a premiere player and you did try but couldn’t meet expectations ie: lost delgado behind you and was not replaced – broke a wrist diving.sliding for a ball and when you snap your wrists when swinging,.. is it a reason for you to be begrudged?

    fck uzr range and all that crap; we all know vernon can read a ball off the bat like no ones business. as for sb is it him or gaston? i could go on… vernon is a jay threw and threw… born and bred…. we all ought to be a little more appreciative imo.

    would be a disgusted and upset jays fan if vernon gets booed on his return, and planning parades or so called it, will only entice this behavior from others….

    On that note it was a shrewd move by AA and the long term benefits to our club is more then worthwhile, lets just not lose sight of the fact that vernon wanted to and tried to be everything we wanted.

  21. ike -

    I think everyone realizes Wells is a good player, and (likely- I’ve never met him,… but by all accounts) a great person.

    The joy we’re takin in this is shedding Wells’ contract.

    I know I, a lot of other Jays fans are appreciative of his efforts in Toronto.

  22. 1. Absolutely amazed that AA could pull this off. An amazing deal
    2. Still sad to see Wells go, it’s always tough to see “the face” of the franchise leave. Luckily we have plenty of people to fill in behind him.
    3. What is AA gonna do with all that money?
    4. Is the plan really Davis in CF everyday?

  23. Lol @ the idiot that says Drabek is rumored in the trade.

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