UPDATE: Jon Heyman of SI.com confirms it. The Angels are picking up the entire $86 million tab left on Vernon Wells’ contract. Mind sufficiently blown.
9:08 PM: The deal is done. The Angels have acquired Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, cash is not mentioned in the release from either club. If the Jays aren’t paying some of Wells’ salary, this is a heist of the highest measure.
7:14 PM: Rosenthal’s latest update has the Blue Jays sending Vernon Wells and cash considerations to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. No word yet on the exact amount of salary the Blue Jays will absorb.
6:42 PM: Juan Rivera might also be in the deal, according to Rosenthal.
Vernon Wells was in Anaheim for a physical today and is waiving his no-trade clause. Of course, he is owed the ridiculous sum of $86 million over the next four seasons. We haven’t heard anything about the Blue Jays picking up any salary here, which if true, would officially make Alex Anthopoulos a miracle worker. Still waiting for the final details, of course.
6:26 PM: If this trade didn’t surprise you already, this certainly will. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Vernon Wells is headed to the Blue Jays in the Mike Napoli trade. In a word, woah. More when we get it.
5:38 PM: We weren’t expecting that! Rosenthal reports that the Angels have traded Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays. No word on the return. Giving up one of the team’s better bats makes some sense if you can get some good young Rays talent. The Jays system isn’t quite as stocked. Here’s hoping for Angels fans that they’re getting some value back.
Man. You just never know.
4:18 PM: Stan McNeal of the Sporting News reports that the Rays have expressed interest in Angels catcher Mike Napoli.
Interesting. Napoli is a good hitter who, while his OBP dropped precipitously last year in a career-high 140 games, still popped a lot of dingers. McNeal says that the Rays would use him as a DH. If so, those Manny Ramirez talks would probably end. As it is, Napoli made $3.6 million and is due a raise via arbitration, so he would probably end up costing around the same — or maybe a bit more — than Manny. Except he’s not a head case and can play catcher.
As for the Angels, they have Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson and Hank Conger to prevent passed balls. The Rays have a prospect-rich system, so if there’s a team to whom you’d want to trade a valuable player like Napoli, it’s Tampa Bay.