The Angels ignored the huge red flag in Vernon Wells’ home-road splits when they took on $81 million of $86 million he was still owed by the Blue Jays in a January trade. It seems pretty safe to say they regret it now.
Still, without additional information, writing off Wells’ 2010 splits as a fluke probably was the right call. Wells hit .321/.363/.628 at Rogers Centre last year, compared to .227/.301/.407 on the road. It was just a one-year thing for him, though.
Wells’ home/road splits by OPS:
2006: 1.038 home, .762 road
2007: .700 home, .712 road
2008: .849 home, .830 road
2009: .633 home, .779 road
2010: .991 home, .708 road
Wells also had the huge home/road split in 2006, but from 2007-09, he was actually better on the road than he was at Rogers Centre. While Wells was grossly overpaid regardless, one year of bad splits wasn’t enough to signal that a collapse was imminent.
So, presented on it’s own, 2010 looks like just another fluke. But what if Wells’ strong season was almost entirely the result of him often knowing what pitches were coming in his home games? His 2011 performance suggests it may have been the case. Wells has hit just .210/.243/.379 this season, making him a big liability even before his huge $23 million salary gets taken into account.
And the Angels are on the hook another $63 million through 2014. If this is the real Wells and if he can’t bounce back at age 33 next year, then that’s a ton of money the Angels have simply flushed down the drain.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.
It’s shortstop or bust for Asdrubal Cabrera, who told reporters Friday that he will request a trade from the Mets after getting bumped to second base (via Newsday’s Marc Carig). Cabrera served as the club’s starting shortstop through the first few months of the 2017 season, but lost the role to Jose Reyes while serving a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. The switch was confirmed prior to the Mets’ series opener against the Giants on Friday, prompting Cabrera to announce his trade request before taking the field.
Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo:
Personally, I’m not really happy with that move,” Cabrera said. “If they have that plan, they should have told me before I came over here. I just told my agent about it. If they have that plan for me, I think it’s time to make a move. What I saw the last couple of weeks, I don’t think they have any plans for me. I told my agent, so we’re going to see what happens in the next couple weeks.
Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson appeared skeptical of Cabrera’s request, telling reporters that he wasn’t sure a trade was “something [Cabrera] really wishes” and saying the team would wait and see how the situation shakes out. That doesn’t mean the veteran infielder will see a return to short anytime soon, however, only that he might have a change of heart after settling into his new role.
This isn’t the first time Cabrera has balked at a position change. The Mets reportedly considered shifting him to third base earlier this season, but ultimately decided to keep him at short and denied his request to pick up his $8.5 million option for 2018, something Alderson said has little to no precedent. Further changes may be on the horizon when 21-year-old infield prospect Amed Rosario gets called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and second baseman Neil Walker returns from the disabled list, though the team has yet to address either situation.