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.