Ok relax..deep breath. The Vernon Wells trade can be good for the Angels. After spending an entire off season complaining about the Angels doing nothing , being cheap, not spending money, we finally got some action. The Angels made a bold move! The biggest complaint most have is with the dollar amount. But when you take into consideration the subtraction of Napoil and Rivera at about 11 million , Wells will be had at the not so outrageous cost of 4 years and $ 78 million. That’s without any cash from the Blue Jays.
Here is why this deal could work……
In a nutshell Vernon Wells has enough talent to at times perform like an elite player (2002 – 2006) and then closely again in 2010. The biggest positive aspect of the trade is what it will do for the Angels outfield defense which was absolutely horrific in 2010.
Wells presumably will be moving to left field and Peter Bourjos will remain in center with Torii Hunter in right. That will be a really good defensive outfield.
Interesting stats AL UZR/150 Rankings (All OFs. Minimum innings: 400)
1st Peter Bourjos: 44.7
3rd Carl Crawford: 21.2
5th Ichiro Suzuki: 14.8
13th Franklin Gutierrez: 6.8
The other component of the deal working is dependent on Mike Scioscia and the development of Hank Conger. If Conger can hit and ”manage catch”( this is what I call Scioscia’s love for defensive catching and game/pitch management) well in spring training he has a shot to win the everyday catching job. This would allow Mathis to remain on the bench and receive spot starts primarily against lefties. All things considered with the acquisition of Wells the Angels are a better team today than they were yesterday.
I’m not ready to applaud Reagins or Arte yet , as it is still up for debate on how much money the Jays sent to help pay some of Wells’ deal. Both teams are being mum on the subject which leads me to believe some money was sent. The Angels sent cash to the Mets for Gary Matthews Jr. last off season so you would have to think they demanded the Blue Jays do the same with Wells. I’m not sure about league rules on this type of matter but at some point the dollar total exhanged will be disclosed. Once it does I’ll like this deal even more.
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