Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Your friend and mine Travis Reitsma passes on an Alden Gonzalez story regarding highly paid non-starting Angels outfielder Vernon Wells. The handsomely paid fourifth outfielder will walk away from the game when his current contract expires at the end of the 2014 season.

Though Wells will only be 35 at the end of next season, he will walk away from the game to spend time with his two young sons.

Easy as the jokes about Wells status bordering on “employable” as a 35-year old, it is admirable that he has a clear plan for the remainder of his playing career. Like many players, Wells is very active in the community in his off-season home in Texas.

The Gonzalez MLB.com piece notes that both Wells and former teammate Torii Hunter figure to walk away from the game at the same time, then attempt to own a Major League club of their own!

“It’s definitely something we’re interested in doing once we’re both done playing,” Wells said. “It’s fun, man. Instead of playing fantasy GM, you’re actually putting together your own team and learning what it takes to pretty much make money in an organization, especially in the Minor Leagues. Because sometimes you’re only going to get 500, 600 people in a game, but you have to figure out ways to get fans in the stands. That’s part of the business.”

Like many players, Vernon Wells is better known for his lucrative contract than his exploits on the field. Vernon Wells was faulted for what he wasn’t as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, when he really was an above-average to very good center fielder in Major League Baseball.

He didn’t walk enough and he started getting hurt too much but a 109 wRC+ with 175 home runs through his peak years is still quite good. Not worth the money he ended up getting but still an achievement in itself. Two monster seasons in 2003 and 2006 wherein he hit more than 30 homers and posted .380 wOBAs.

If anything, Wells deserves some credit for knowing when it is time to walk away. No desperate non-roster invitations, just quietly leaving the game which earned him more than $150 million over his career. Not a little nest egg, Vernon. Congratulations on a solid career.

Comments (12)

  1. Hope Vernon Wells implements “bring your dog to the ballpark” days when he owns a baseball team.

  2. If the angels ate at least 80% of the rest of his contract, would he be a good get for the jays as a platoon guy?

    • Bleurgh!
      Play Sierra, Play Rajai, Play anyone. Still probably costs less than 20% of V-dub’s contract, and has more upside.

  3. I wish I could retire at 35 too.

  4. i wish him all the best…

  5. Wells was one of my favorite Jays back in the day. It kinda broke my heart to see him turn into an albatross (yeah I know…as he cries into an ocean of dollars). Best of luck to him.

  6. I just kinda wish he would have waited until spring 2014 to mention this, because now it really looks like he’s gonna sit on his hands for 2 whole years until the money train isn’t stopping by his house any more.

  7. I hope Toronto gives him a nice ceremony on his final visit in 2014.

  8. He’s one lucky guy pocketing all that money for just having only two good seasons in his career!

  9. Hes a bum or a joke whatever you want to call him, Ed said it best 2 good seasons het got paid, then the jays werent good enough for him and he went to win a title…. where did that get him ? Same as Delgado they left and ended up as useless tits.

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