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Unbelievable: Angels take on Vernon Wells from Jays

Jan 21, 2011, 6:47 PM EDT

Vernon Wells

Such is the world of baseball news: spend a half hour typing up a blog and see it turned into garbage within 10 seconds of it being posted.

Because less than hour after reporting that Mike Napoli was being dealt to the Blue Jays, Ken Rosenthal decided to mention that, oh yeah, Vernon Wells just happens to be in the trade, too.

It’s not Rosenthal’s fault, but what a case of burying the lead.

Wells, long viewed as one of baseball’s most unmovable players, is owed a whopping $86 million over the next four years. Make him a free agent right now and he wouldn’t get half that.

Wells, 32, did have a bounce-back season in 2010, hitting .273/.331/.515 with 31 homers in his best campaign since 2006. He had gone three straight years without hitting more than 20 homers, driving in more than 80 runs or slugging .500.

But Wells needs to do more than hit 30 homers to be an All-Star caliber player. That’s because his defense in center field ranges somewhere from bad to worse these days. The Angels, having just moved Torii Hunter out of center for Peter Bourjos, twould certainly be crazy to put Wells there now.

So what do they do? Returning Hunter to center and putting Wells in left would probably make the most sense. Though if they wanted to stick with Bourjos’ terrific glove in center, they could just go ahead and make Bobby Abreu a full-time DH and trade Juan Rivera.

In the earlier blog, I wrote that the Angels were going backwards by trading Napoli. They might still be going that way here. I truly believe this is the wrong move for the team, as it would have been for practically any team. Wells isn’t a center fielder, and he doesn’t project as a stellar hitter going forward. The Blue Jays are surely picking up a portion of his outrageous contract, but even if they’re getting him for $10 million per year, I don’t think it’s worth it for the Angels.

  1. elmaquino - Jan 21, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    theres a rumor on Twitter that K Drabek went wit him.

    • elmaquino - Jan 21, 2011 at 6:58 PM

      @El_Maquino BTW :\

    • Mark - Jan 21, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      Hopefully that rumour doesnt turn into the truth.

  2. crankyfrankie - Jan 21, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    The Jays have that great hitting catcher J.P. Arencibia in triple-A is he injured or not ready or what?. If they’d like he can come to Philly and back up Chooch. :)

  3. cur68 - Jan 22, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Vernon Wells is a bad center fielder? News to me. I’ve been watching that guy play for years. All of it CF. I’ve never seen a highlight reel of him screwing up. In fact quite the reverse. He’s pretty steady as far as CFs go. The Angels are getting a reasonably good center fielder for a lot money. Probably more than he’s worth, but he’s due to have a great year tfor2011. He showed signs of it last season, same way Bautista did in 2009 before exploding in the subsequent season. With guys like him it’s a matter a practice, playing time, and trusting the practice. When Bautista had that, it all worked. Wells started 2010 on a tear, saw it working, let his brain interfere and slumped mid season before coming back out of it. If he keeps his mindset of relax, wait for your pitch, and swing hard, he’ll be fine and build on 2010’s success for 2011. The Angels will look like the smartest team in baseball next season because Wells will have a big year till he goes down with one his patented groin strains/hammy/vapors/runny nose/WTFnowVernon/turf toe injuries. Look for that around when they need his production the most.

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