Angels, Owner Arte Moreno Introduce Vernon Wells At Stadium Press Conference

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Vernon Wells Introduced As Angels Welcome New Outfielder

The Vernon Wells trade went down last Friday night, and already it seems like ages ago. But just Wednesday, Wells was introduced at an Angel Stadium press conference, and team owner Arte Moreno came right out to defend the acquisition that has drawn so much criticism:

"It's our money," owner Arte Moreno said.
"If you look at the deal as somewhere around $70 million, you're looking at a $17-plus million deal, on a four-year average," Moreno said, before referencing the [Carl] Crawford contract. "That's a lot more tolerable than $142 million."

Wells is due $86 million over the next four years of his contract. The Blue Jays, it turns out, are indeed sending $5 million to the Angels to cover some of the cost. Subtracting the salaries due to Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera gets you to the $70 million figure that Moreno mentions. It seems he was far more in favor of giving that money to Wells over four years than giving $142 million to Carl Crawford over seven. Despite the fact that Crawford is the far superior player to Wells, it appears Moreno is no fan of the contract commitment.

Which isn't to suggest that this is black and white - the Angels weren't in a position of having to either sign Crawford or trade for Wells - but when it comes to defending the latter, one has to be a little creative.

Beyond Moreno's words, Wells expressed his excitement about playing in southern California. He acknowledged that the Angels are taking a big gamble by bringing his contract on board, but added:

"This is paradise," he said. "This is one of the best places to play in baseball."

It remains unclear how the Angels' outfield will shake out. Wells and teammate Torii Hunter are willing to flank youngster Peter Bourjos in center field, and showered Bourjos with high praise, but the team is still considering further additions that could push Bourjos to the bench or the minors. Wells, certainly, will do whatever the team wants him to do.


Vernon Wells Trade Does Not Involve Money, Angels GM Tony Reagins Confirms

Turns out no money changed hands in the Vernon Wells trade on Friday. After Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Toronto Blue Jays would be sending $5 million to the Los Angeles Angels in the trade, Both Angels’ general manager Tony Reagins and Blue Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos confirmed no money would be changing hands in the deal. The Angels will now be on the hook for all $86 million remaining on Wells’ contract.

With no money moving around in the trade, the Blue Jays get away almost completely free, dumping a huge contract off on the Angels while getting two players that may be useful at a low price back — Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli. Combined, Napolia and Rivera will cost the Blue Jays about 11 million. Compare that to Wells’ 2010 cost — $23 million for the season — and you can see why many were shocked no money is changing hands.

Now that we know the terms of the deal, and that it doesn’t involve money changing hands, it’s safe to say the Jays got away with highway robbery.

For more on the trade, check out Bluebird Banter and Halos Heaven.


Vernon Wells Trade: Blue Jays Reportedly Sending $5 Million To Angels

Despite initial reports to the contrary, it appears the Toronto Blue Jays will be sending some cash to the Los Angeles Angels in the Vernon Wells trade. Instead of a straight two-for-one trade, Toronto is reportedly throwing in $5 million dollars, perhaps to offset the exchange rate or something. Keep in mind, Wells is signed for another four years at a total of $86 million dollars.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted the additional details on Friday night.

update: hearing now $5 million is going from #bluejays to #angels. covers a month and a half of wells $, but it's somethingless than a minute ago via web

As he says, $5 million covers just a fraction of the season at Wells' pay-rate. The Angels were robbed blind, but the thieves -- the Toronto Blue Jays' front office  -- left them a toaster. I'm sure the Blue Jays happily threw in that five million dollars to unload the other $81 million left on Wells' historically bad contract without thinking twice.

For more on the deal, check out Halos Heaven and Bluebird Banter and either commiserate or celebrate the trade.


Vernon Wells Traded From Blue Jays To Angels For Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera Straight Up

Friday's Vernon Wells trade has made for a surprising blockbuster that no one saw coming. At first, it was reported that Mike Napoli was getting traded from the Angels to the Blue Jays. Next, it was reported that Wells was going the other way. Next, it was reported that Wells and cash would be exchanged for Napoli and Juan Rivera. And now, in perhaps the biggest stunner, Jon Morosi is reporting that there's not actually any cash involved at all.

The trade has been announced, and the trade is straight up. What that means is that the Angels will be absorbing the following contract - part of a long-term extension Wells signed with the Blue Jays in December 2006:

2011: $23 million
2012: $21 million
2013: $21 million
2014: $21 million

Napoli and Rivera will combine to earn about $11 million in 2011, offsetting part of the cost, and Napoli will probably be in line for a raise in 2012. But the Angels are nevertheless taking on an enormous financial commitment that really can't be justified.

Wells is already 32 years old. He isn't a standout offensive player. He isn't a standout defensive player. He's hit a great deal better at home than on the road over the course of his career. There's little doubt that he has the potential to be pretty good with the Angels for a year or three, but he's getting paid far too much, for far too long, and the Angels are likely going to regret this move that reeks of desperation.

In return for Wells, the Jays get two moderately useful power bats who should work their way into the regular lineup. Neither is a star, but the team will just be overjoyed to be rid of a problem contract.


Vernon Wells Trade To Angels Sends Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera To Blue Jays

We've got the players involved in the Vernon Wells trade all figured out now. According to Ken Rosenthal and his assortment of sources, Wells is getting sent from the Blue Jays to the Angels, along with an undisclosed amount of money. Headed the other way will be Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera.

Wells, we've discussed - he's an aging, power-hitting outfielder with an enormous contract, much of which the Blue Jays will be picking up. What's unknown is how much money is changing hands, here, as the amount could tip the scales in either team's favor. He's due $86 million over the next four seasons. He's going to play either center field or right.

Napoli, we've also discussed - he's a catcher, first baseman, and DH who swings for the fences and fits in with Toronto's powerful lineup. He's under team control for another two years.

The final piece here is the 32-year-old Rivera, a righty-hitting outfielder. The Angels have been anxious to move him and his $5.25 million 2011 salary, as he didn't have a set role in Anaheim. He should end up with a fair amount of playing time in Toronto. Over the past three years, Rivera has batted .266 with a .445 slugging percentage. He's a corner outfielder without a ton of defensive value.

There are a lot of pieces who're affected by this trade, and how it'll all shake out for each team isn't entirely known. What is known is that the Blue Jays and Angels just grabbed headlines on an otherwise sleepy Friday evening.


Vernon Wells Waiving No-Trade Clause For Angels; Undergoing Physical

What began as a Mike Napoli trade has morphed into a Vernon Wells trade. Indeed, the Angels are unloading a catcher, and the Blue Jays are unloading an outfielder. While Wells' giant contract with Toronto includes a no-trade clause, Ken Rosenthal reports that Wells will waive it in order to go to Anaheim.

Rosenthal also reports that Wells is or was in Anaheim on Friday for his physical exam. Napoli still has to pass his, and Rosenthal's wording suggests that there are other players involved in this deal as well. One rumor is that Juan Rivera could be going to Toronto along with Napoli, as the Angels have been attempting to unload his salary.

The big bit of information we're missing is how much of Wells' salary will be picked up by the Blue Jays, and how much will be picked up by the Angels. But it also remains unclear just how both Wells and Napoli will fit in with their new ballclubs. There are openings within each depth chart, but it's unknown how all the pieces are going to be arranged.


Vernon Wells Included In Mike Napoli Trade Between Angels And Blue Jays, Says Report

News just broke earlier Friday afternoon of a Mike Napoli trade between the Angels and Blue Jays, but according to the latest tweet from Ken Rosenthal, this just got real. How real? Headed from the Blue Jays to the Angels is, reportedly, none other than Vernon Wells.

It's unknown whether there are other players involved, or if this is a straight-up one-for-one. What we do know is that Wells brings with him a mammoth contract that will pay him $23 million in 2011 and $21 million each season between 2012-2014. His contract gives him a full no-trade clause, but it seems that will be waived.

One assumes that the Blue Jays will pay a very significant portion of Wells' remaining contract.

The 32-year-old Wells has batted .275 over the past three seasons, with a .466 slugging percentage. He doesn't do a great job of reaching base, he's beyond his prime, and he's considered to be a below-average defensive outfielder. That said, he brings a lot of experience and a decent power bat that should, for the time being, fit into the middle of the Angels' lineup.

Assuming this trade becomes official shortly, Wells stands to re-shape the Angels' outfield. Bobby Abreu may shift to DH, or Peter Bourjos may return to the minors.


Mike Napoli Traded By Angels As Blue Jays Acquire Power Bat

The Angels consider themselves to be pretty deep behind the plate, and the Blue Jays are always interested in adding a little more offense. Thus, there was a match between the two ballclubs, and on Friday the former has agreed to trade catcher Mike Napoli to the latter.

It's unknown what the Angels will be getting in return, and all the players involved have to pass their physicals in order for this deal to become official. It should be just a matter of time.

For the Jays, Napoli could get work behind the plate, at first base, or as the designated hitter, potentially cutting into the playing time of Jose Molina, Adam Lind, and Edwin Encarnacion. For the Angels, catchers Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson, and Hank Conger made Napoli expendable. The team will continue to search for additions at DH or left field.

The 29-year-old Napoli has batted .258 over the past three seasons, with a .341 OBP and a .502 slugging percentage. The Angels were never fond of his work behind the plate, but he's able to hold his own in the field, and more importantly, he's a strong power bat with some time left in his prime. He's eligible for arbitration this season and next, and is set to become a free agent after 2012.

For more on the deal, Check out Halos Heaven and Bluebird Banter.

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