Blue Jays trade Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera

WOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!

So let’s get this straight. Vernon Wells is 32 years old. He has to be paid $23mil in 2011, $21mil in 2012, $21mil in 2013, and $21mil in 2014. So that’s $86mil guaranteed for the age 32-35 seasons, of a player who has produced 7.0 WAR in the past four seasons.

Yikes. So the Angels are picking up a player, who did post a 4 fWAR in 2010, but also produced just a combined 3 WAR from 2007-2009. He is fancasted to produce 2.4 fWAR in 2011. With a $ per WAR of $4.5mil, he would only be worth $10.8mil. He will be paid $24mil.

Why on earth would a team want that? Especially a team like the Angels are aren’t exactly contenders at the moment. Moreover, their outfield is already crowded with Tori Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Reggie Willits, and Peter Bourjos. Moreover, they already had Juan Rivera. Yes, Juan Rivera may not be the hitter he once was. But he is the same age as Wells, and costs about $19mil less…for the same production! The kicker though, is Mike Napoli. Mike Napoli is good. Mike Napoli is 29. Mike Napoli is cost-controlled for two more seasons. Mike Napoli plays a premiere defensive position- catcher. Mike Napoli has proven to be a real good hitting catcher and has provided 2+ WAR in all but one of his professional seasons (he was worth 1.5 WAR in a 75 game 2007 season).

Over the past four years, Mike Napoli has been worth worth 9.7 fWAR, more than Vernon Wells. Mike Napoli made $3.6mil last season and figures to make about $5.8mil in 2011 and about $10.4mil in 2012. That’s about $16mil for two seasons. Vernon Wells has to be paid $24mil in 2011 alone!

Mike Napoli is being fancasted to have a 3.4 WAR season in 2011. So he would be worth $15.3mil and his team would have about $10mil.

So lets get this straight…team with Mike Napoli gets more production, more value, and SAVES money. Team with Vernon Wells gets a not so good player, expensive contract, and loses money compared to what the player brings to the table.

This deal makes no sense for the Angels AT ALL. They had a great, cost-controlled catcher on their roster, and have a loaded outfield. They also probably will not be competing in the West anytime soon so they should look to rid themselves of payroll eating, veteran players. Sure, they will probably move Bobby Abreu to DH, but this move stills make no sense.

As for the Blue Jays- it’s a win x 10. Just trading Wells and his contract, even if for nothing, is a win. Now they get a good catcher, and an extra outfielder to boot.

Sure, the Jays might contribute some money to help the Angels, but the latest reports are saying that will not happen. Either way, it doesn’t change things.

Also, Wells can opt-out after 2011.

1) He’d be crazy to walk away from $63mil guaranteed, especially if he sucks in 2011.

2) If he does walk away, it’s still a bad deal for LA since they will be trading a good catcher for an old outfielder who won’t help them win in 2011.

 

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