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According to Ken Rosenthal, the Jays have traded for Angels catcher Mike Napoli. Details to be updated as they come out.

The deal appears to be Napoli and Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells, as reported by Rosenthal and confirmed by Mike Wilner. We still don't know how much cash the Jays are sending over.

Mike Napoli steps to the plate against the Jays at the Dome August 21, 2009.† He would homer later in the game against Casey Janssen but the Jays would prevail over the Angels 5-4.† Interestingly enough, Vernon Wells also went deep in the same contest.


Some Napoli facts:

He'll be a free agent after 2012 - he's a super-2 player in his third year of arbitration. He made $3.6M last year and will go to arbitration this year.

Blatant Fangraphs Stats Rip:



Napoli is a well above-average offensive catcher. A lower-than-normal BABIP brought his average down to .238 last year, but he still managed to put up a 114 RC+ thanks to excellent power. And before you whine "great, another low OBP, high SLG player", Napoli's .316 OBP last year was by far the worst of his career - previously his lowest mark was .350.

His defense, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. The fans scouting report rates his instincts and speed above his arm, but both are below average.

Prior to 2010, Napoli had never played a position other than catcher, but he got 70 games there in 2010. For what it's worth, his UZR/150 was above average in a very small sample size. Napoli will likely see time at catcher, first base and designated hitter, forming a sort of rotation with Lind, Arencibia and EE. You gotta think Lind won't be touching lefties with a ten foot pole.

-----

Vernon Wells Speculation Section

If the Vernon rumour is true, here's what it means.

Bautista will almost certainly stay in the outfield, as he prefers to. I suppose this makes it slightly more likely that EE is the starting third baseman, though I'm not sure the the 3B situation is all that affected - if the Jays really don't like EE at third they'll make another move, or maybe they really like Lawrie that much.

Davis should be the starting center fielder now, with Snider and Bautista flanking him. He'll have plenty of room to use that speed.

Several Jays bloggers have started salivating over Albert Pujols next off-season via Twitter. Obviously that would be, um, nice, but I still think he signs with the Cards.

Jays Acquire Napoli For Vernon Wells | 238 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Glevin - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 05:51 PM EST (#229028) #
Interested to see what they gave up (of course). Napoli has monster power and is not yet 30.I've never understood the Angel's obsession with Mathis who can't hit at all, but this is a big boost to the Jays offense.
Alex Obal - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 05:52 PM EST (#229029) #
Wild. With C and 1B both uncertain, going after Napoli makes perfect sense.

We still love short-sequence offense, apparently. Which, if offense remains down in general, is reasonable.

Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:04 PM EST (#229030) #
I suspect one of the Jays' catching prospects is headed the other way, as part of the package. Personally, I hope it's not D'Arnaud. Of all the catching prospects I know nothing about, I have the most invested in him.
MrPurple - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:05 PM EST (#229031) #
Well, let's take a crack at a wild guess. The jays will have traded....Jenkins ?
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:20 PM EST (#229032) #
Twitter reveals that RedSox fans are mighty peeved at John Farrell right now. Apparently Napoli hits very well at Fenway.
melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:21 PM EST (#229033) #
I will be shocked if the Angles had asked for one of the Jays cathing prospects in return beacuse they have more than there share as well. Question is would you rather have Buck or Napoli and a sandwich pick?  Any word on his instincts to a call a good game behind home plate?
Brent S - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:22 PM EST (#229034) #
Did I just see that right? It's...Vernon Wells!

From Robothal:

Source: #Blue Jays' Vernon Wells heading to #Angels in Napoli trade. #MLB
melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:23 PM EST (#229035) #
Vernon Wells is going to the Angles for Napoli...WHAT!!!!
dan gordon - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:25 PM EST (#229036) #
Nice acquisition.  Napoli really mashes lefties.  Not a FA until 2013.  If the Toronto half of the deal is as indicated, maybe Jiminez and a mid-level pitching prospect -  I hope it's not Farina.  Now, for something really interesting - The Fan just reported that Vernon Wells could very well be part of the deal (according to Rosenthal, they say).
Brent S - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:25 PM EST (#229037) #
This is like the Mondesi trade. But it's multiplied by a number that hasn't been invented yet.
Jdog - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:26 PM EST (#229038) #
This would make the Davis trade and 2 year signing even better. Can't wait to see all the details on this trade, like how much money if any is exchanging hands and who else is involved. AA suprises again
Glevin - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:26 PM EST (#229039) #
The Jays got rid of Vernon Wells? AA is some kind of genius.
Gerry - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:28 PM EST (#229040) #
Wow
johnny was - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:32 PM EST (#229041) #
There was $23 mil for this year, then $21 mil X 3, left on V-Dub's contract.  Truly remarkable if AA got the club out from under that albatross deal and actually got Napoli in return...
Alex Obal - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:34 PM EST (#229042) #
Wow is right.

Jaw, meet floor. Index finger, meet refresh button...

Paul D - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:35 PM EST (#229043) #
Toronto has to be sending money along with Wells right?
dan gordon - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:35 PM EST (#229044) #
If the Wells thing is true, maybe Toronto is going to have to take on a bad contract.  I guess Kazmir would be the worst one the Angels have - 1 year left at $12 million plus a $2.5 million buyout.  Chump change compared to the load Wells still has coming his way.  The Angels really wanted Crawford - maybe Wells is their fall back position.
melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:37 PM EST (#229045) #

Large multi year Bautista deal might come next.  It would make sense.  The last time I felt this way was when the Jays signed BJ Ryan and Burnett the same day (I believe).

stevieboy22 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:39 PM EST (#229046) #
My guess: Jays send 40 million over..
Thomas - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:39 PM EST (#229047) #
This is the most unexpected news I've heard in.....since I don't know when.
melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:40 PM EST (#229048) #

Wells is in Anaheim now taking a physical and has waived his no trade clause.  Full story posted by Rosenthal:

 http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Mike-Napoli-Los-Angeles-Angels-of-Anaheim-Toronto-Blue-Jays-trade-012111

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:43 PM EST (#229049) #
i miss Vernon already. There's his contract, but then there's also Vernon.
sam - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:45 PM EST (#229050) #
Unreal. They must be mighty confident that Brett Lawrie or someone can play 3B next year. Also, $40 million is way to much, at most I'd say between $15 and $20 million. But I think there's probably some more chips involved in this trade instead of a straight swap.
Squiggy - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:49 PM EST (#229051) #
Wow. Mindblower. Vernon is a nice guy and all but those millions can wallpaper over a lot of other needs for the next 4 years. No question that this is a great trade, assuming that the majority of the remaining contract is paid by the Angels.
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:51 PM EST (#229052) #
No matter who the Jays are taking back or how much of Wells' contract they're eating, you have to be in awe of Anthopoulos's ability to keep a move like this under wraps. Stunning.
uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:53 PM EST (#229053) #
I kind of figured that other teams would be sniffing around Verno after the crazy contracts that were signed this offseason.

if the Angels put Wells in a corner OF spot (with cf maestro bourjos there already), it'll be interesting to see how wells and crawford compare value-wise going forward.



hopefully a Joey Bats signing is imminent. and hey, Pujols, Fielder, and AGone are all on the market next year.

and oh yeah - I really like Mike Napoli. very nice pickup.

hopefully we're not eating half of verno's contract.
Mike Forbes - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:54 PM EST (#229055) #

Drinks are on me, boys.

Crazy news. My mind is racing. Vernon was a quality guy and a good player, just not at 23 million a year. Napoli will likely catch a couple times a week and DH the rest of the time with EE and Lind platooning at 1B.

CeeBee - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:55 PM EST (#229056) #
It's April 1st today, right?....... WOW!!!
Dave Rutt - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:56 PM EST (#229057) #
uglyone: Rosenthal's story claims Wells will be playing center. Might he be the third-best CF on the Angels?
Alex Obal - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:57 PM EST (#229058) #
i miss Vernon already. There's his contract, but then there's also Vernon.

This too. I hope Wells gets the reception he deserves when he comes back next year. He was a fantastic ambassador, and the teams seemed to take on his personality. Not that I know anything, but I think we're in good hands with Bautista and Hill.

Mondesi parallel is dead-on if the Jays aren't taking too much money back. Thanks, Carl Crawford!

Magic 9 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:57 PM EST (#229059) #
Just heard Drabek included.

Hold those drinks!
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:58 PM EST (#229060) #
Pure speculation racing around Twitter right now in Rumor clothes is that Drabek is included in the deal to the Angels.
uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 06:59 PM EST (#229061) #
"uglyone: Rosenthal's story claims Wells will be playing center. Might he be the third-best CF on the Angels?"

I don't think he's thinking it through. Bourjos is awesome in the field already (and has great hitting numbers throughout the minors), and who is going to play LF for them otherwise?

My guess is Bourjos in CF, Wells and Hunter to the corner spots.

And then the Wells-Crawford comparison is on with a vengeance.
Dave Rutt - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:00 PM EST (#229062) #
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Drabek thing is made-up, probably a joke.
Thomas - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:02 PM EST (#229063) #
I have heard Wilner has confirmed to the Fan 590 that it is Wells for Napoli and Juan Rivera. It's unclear if he is basing this on the Rosenthal reports, as many other sites seem to do, but they are using the word "confirms" on Twitter.
Dave Rutt - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:02 PM EST (#229064) #
I don't think he's thinking it through

Well, Vernon had to waive his no-trade clause to get the deal done. Playing center might've been part of that.
bpoz - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:03 PM EST (#229065) #
IMO the LAA are desperate to contend in 2011 so they MUST add ML ready players with a proven record. They also better have depth IMO. Maybe both the LAA fans & GM were starting to worry about 2011.

ayjackson - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:03 PM EST (#229066) #
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Drabek thing is made-up, probably a joke.   How is that a joke?  That's terrible, even for a guy with 3 or 4 J Lohr's in him.
Magic 9 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:03 PM EST (#229067) #
Wilner says it is Napoli and Juan Rivera.
Thomas - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:04 PM EST (#229068) #
Alex is right in that Vernon was a fantastic ambassador for the team and the city and, by all accounts, a great guy. I hope he gets a positive reaction, although I'm not counting on it.
Jonny German - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:05 PM EST (#229069) #
Wow! Wow wow wow. Expect the unexpected.

The cash is obviously a big part of the equation, and it's tricky. If Vernon's 2011 is a repeat of his 2010 season there's no doubt in my mind that he opts out of his remaining 3 years and $63M. In which case the Angels pay him $23M for1 year and the Jays should be subsidizing very little of that. But if Vernon henceforth is the '09 version then AA just ditched an enormous albatross. Does MLB allow conditional cash provisions in trades?
Glevin - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:07 PM EST (#229070) #
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Drabek thing is made-up, probably a joke"

Maybe, maybe not. Rumour also has it that Rivera is going back to the Jays. Wells was one of the hardest contracts to move in all of baseball. I thought unmovable really. Even if their contracts were the same, I might take Napoli over Wells. He gives you similar offensive numbers (more power, worse AVG)  while being able to play catcher Add in Wells'  insane contract and if the Jays are not sending money back, then they'd have to send a prospect. One would think. Still, if they had to give Drabek up, maybe they are getting a good but slightly lesser prospect back from the Angels.
Dave Rutt - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:08 PM EST (#229071) #
How is that a joke?

Some people just like stirring the pot, I guess. It is kind of tempting when you have a gullible mass audience, I have to admit ;) (no, it wasn't me)
ayjackson - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:09 PM EST (#229072) #
I suspect that after Crawford and Beltre, Angels came talking about JBau, and somehow, somewhere, somewhy....got on to Vernon.  I love Vernon, but if it's Napoli and an exExpo......*dances*
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:10 PM EST (#229073) #
I can't see Anthopoulos trading Drabek away as part of this deal. The whole point is to acquire stars for the future, not give them up. I think it's pure wishful thinking on the part of Angels fans.
Dave Till - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:11 PM EST (#229074) #
First thought: that's what we get for not buying the Rogers Super Deluxe Extra Innings Sports Pak, or whatever it is. The Jays can't afford Vernon any more.

More seriously: whoa. I want to wait until the dust settles, and the trade is confirmed, before reacting. Though if AA did include Drabek, I am going to track him down and yell very rude things at him.

If Vernon is gone, the Blue Jay with the longest active tenure with the club becomes... Jason Frasor.

Dave Rutt - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:12 PM EST (#229075) #
I actually think it was started by a Jays fan, but yeah. Drabek isn't going anywhere.
joeblow - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:16 PM EST (#229077) #
If there comes a time when you feel like taking a bite out of AA, just remember this day. For me, he has bought himself a ton of buffer.

Whatever the short term implications are in this deal (starting with a more sensible lineup), the books are cleared after 2012. What a mess JP left us.

Bye bye Vernon.

DaveB - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:17 PM EST (#229078) #
I predict Vernon will get a standing ovation when he returns. Certainly he would from me.  He's been a quality player and ambassador, a class act. I think the trade comes at a propitious time for himself and the team. He still has plenty of good baseball left in him and a chance to be part of a contending team in a much easier division. It's a signature move by AA that allows him to continue building the team he wants rather than the team he inherited.

Let's see how it all turns out first. Can't help but think this leads to at least one more move to acquire a 3B. I like Napoli's bat, 30-35 HRs in a full season is certainly possible, and his defense at both catcher and first could be an improvement on the alternatives.






Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:17 PM EST (#229080) #
Rosenthal's latest tweet says Wells and cash to the Angels for Napoli and Rivera. Not a peep about Drabek.
bpoz - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:19 PM EST (#229081) #
Drabek is only included if there is an exchange of top prospects IMO.
Drabek IMO has the most value of all the mentioned players because if he busts the $ burden is not a problem. Also I firmly believe that AA learned from the Expos Big Unit trade.
Alex Obal - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:20 PM EST (#229082) #
that's what we get for not buying the Rogers Super Deluxe Extra Innings Sports Pak, or whatever it is.

Dave, I'm not sure - Wells is overpaid, and his money can almost certainly be put to better use. It' sjust as likely the Jays saw that the Angels were desperate to pick up a star right now to prove they're serious about fighting off the Rangers, and capitalized.

Gerry - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:21 PM EST (#229083) #
I would assume its around $10 million heading to Anaheim to equalize salaries for 2011.
stevieboy22 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:25 PM EST (#229084) #
I predict Vernon will get a standing ovation when he returns.

You clearly give way too much respect to Jays fans.... I remember people booing Gregg Zaun when he returned... I'm from Toronto, and cheer for Toronto sports teams, but hate watching the idiocy I often see come out of the fans from the Jays/Raptors/Leafs...

Jordan - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:26 PM EST (#229085) #
One-time contributor, first-in-a-long-time commenter.

As currently constituted, looks like an awfully good baseball trade. Even assuming substantial cash goes to Anaheim and potentially even Drabek, still a net positive. Keeps Bautista in the outfield where he belongs, forces the club to face up to its deeply unhealthy Edwin Encarnacion fixation, and obviously provides financial flexibility (though I wouldn't assume that flexibility goes back into the ballclub -- Rogers has issues of its own). In the euphoria, though, let's not forget that the drop from Vernon Wells to Rajai Davis in CF is going to be, uh, steep.

And I'll say this: I will miss Vernon Wells. Yes, the contract was a millstone -- wasn't his fault. Injuries sapped his production -- wasn't his fault. I never heard him grouse, I never got the sense he was anything less than professional, and I always thought he carried the face-of-the-franchise burden, which I don't think he ever loved, with grace and aplomb. He was a #1 draft choice, something like #5 overall, and he can't be described as anything other than an excellent investment.

Like Thomas, I hope he's greeted in his return with warmth and appreciation. Like Thomas, having personally heard Blue Jays "fans" boo the likes of Shannon Stewart and Tony Batista on their returns, I don't hold out much hope for that level of class.

Dave Till - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:27 PM EST (#229086) #
I wasn't being all that serious about the Extra Deluxe Uber Sports Pak. Actually, I'm not often serious about anything.

I will miss Vernon very much. He was a classy player - and it wasn't his fault that he was being paid all that money.
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:29 PM EST (#229087) #
I will be happy to see players other than Vernon Wells pop up weakly to the infield for the next four years.
Glevin - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:32 PM EST (#229088) #
"Rosenthal's latest tweet says Wells and cash to the Angels for Napoli and Rivera. Not a peep about Drabek."

This would be one of the best trades in Blue Jays history IMO. Wells' has had 9 years as a regular and  he's been average or bad offensively in five of those seasons. He's 32 years old, is now a corner OFer, and has one of the two or three worst contracts in all of baseball. The Jays never had a chance to compete as long as Wells' was on the team because the contract was so onerous. Not only did they get rid of it, they also acquired a couple of players that can contribute. I am very, very impressed with AA.
Gerry - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:32 PM EST (#229089) #
Jordan sighting, welcome back
TamRa - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:32 PM EST (#229090) #
chiming in not having read the whole thread:

1. The amount of crow to be eaten in the coming days is of Biblical proportions.

2. Don't get too attached to Napoli. Another RH batter? Don't be surprised by a flip. Heck, don't be surprised by a flip of either acquisition.



DaveB - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:33 PM EST (#229091) #
If nothing else, Vernon deserves a standing O for waiving his no-trade clause.



sam - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:34 PM EST (#229093) #
I think Gerry is right about the money. It's probably something like $10 million to equalize the salaries for this year and then the rest is up to the Angels to cover. And there's no way Vernon opts out of his contract. Even if he's a triple crown type guy this year he still doesn't opt out of 21 million for three more years. To put that into perspective, that makes him the top paid at his position and I think you can count the number of people who are making more than him annually on one hand. Sorry I didn't have time to go through Cot's Contracts.
Jordan - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:38 PM EST (#229094) #
Thanks, Gerry -- I only seem to resurface for cataclysmic events. I'm a modern-day Geraldo Rivera. :-)
Thomas - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:44 PM EST (#229095) #
Jordan, that post serves as a great reminder about why we miss you around here. The reaction to Shannon Stewart (and Zaun) was abysmal. I don't doubt Vernon's will be similar. I don't know what "fans" were booing in those two cases, with Vernon's contract clouding their vision, I suspect the reaction to Vernon will be as bad or worse.
Shrike - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:46 PM EST (#229096) #
I echo Jordan's remarks in their entirety, but without all his gravitas.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:50 PM EST (#229098) #
I'll miss the Man with the Golden Glove!  I guess it's back to the drawing board for our new banner which was going to feature V-Dub.  I figured he'd be around for the next few seasons.  Time for a pinch-hitter!  I hope I don't have to go to the bullpen either!
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:50 PM EST (#229099) #
By the way, prepare for a stream of self-serving statements from JP Ricciardi about the value of Vernon Wells and how the Angels really got the best in the deal. I'm sure, deep down, he will not be relishing the opportunity to talk yet again about that contract.
slitheringslider - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:53 PM EST (#229100) #
If zero or a small amount of money changes hands, AA is an absolute genius. Getting any sort of usable asset back was unexpected.
CaramonLS - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:55 PM EST (#229101) #
AA could send 30 million over and it would still be a win.
TamRa - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:56 PM EST (#229102) #
Does MLB allow conditional cash provisions in trades?

In this case, you don't even need any manipulation.

Let's say the Jays agree to pay $7 mil on each of the four remaining years - they don't pay $28 up front, they pay $7 each year.

If Wells opts out, then 21 of that goes away right along with the Angel's share.

By the way, the odds he opts out just doubled at least. Still might not be the likely outcome, but way MORE likely than it was last week.



Another stray thought - AA might have a taker for EE with the idea of installing Napoli as the regular DH too.

snider - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:57 PM EST (#229103) #
On booing Zaun, I think it was more related to the story about the cheque he wrote to some steroid guy then his performance on the field.
Spicol - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:57 PM EST (#229104) #
Juan Rivera is a FA-to-be after 2011 and currently right in Type B compensation territory, according to MLBTR's reverse engineering of the Elias rankings.

Just a genius move by AA, moreso if Shi Davidi is right and no money is changing hands. I'll surely applaud Vernon when he comes back to town but this is great news for the organization.

melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:57 PM EST (#229105) #

Cdn Press Tweeting that Jays likely not adding any money to deal...we will see.  With the financial flexibility that appears to be coming with the trade the Jays could make a serious pitch for Michael Young who was said to be availble earlier this winter (though with his freind Wells gone it might be harder).  If they can get a productive everyday third baseman (even if it turns out to be Lawrie) it will leave them with a pretty good bench of Rivera, one of Lind, Arencibia or Napoli, and EE. 

#2JBrumfield - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:58 PM EST (#229106) #
Mark down August 12-14 and September 19-22 on the calendar.  That's when V-Dub and the Angels will be in town.  Those series will run a close second to the Canada Day weekend when Doc is back in town, barring another Summit type meeting.
TamRa - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:00 PM EST (#229107) #
prediction: the amount of case changing hands will not be more than $30 mil. I can see up to $7 mil per season
CaramonLS - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:02 PM EST (#229108) #
The cash is obviously a big part of the equation, and it's tricky. If Vernon's 2011 is a repeat of his 2010 season there's no doubt in my mind that he opts out of his remaining 3 years and $63M.

People know exactly who Vernon Wells is - zero chance he opts out of this.  Absolutely zero.
smcs - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:02 PM EST (#229109) #
The fact that this was kept under wraps is astounding, especially considering the fact that the Jays have been doing the Winter Caravan.  Vernon was talking last week about how he knew his contract was a bit of an albatross but did not hint that he might be traded.  I have a feeling AA would have asked him ahead of time about waving his no-trade clause, too.

So now where are we?

Arencibia, Molina, Napoli, Lind and Encarnacion presumably take the C/1B/DH roles.  Hill, Escobar, Lawrie and McDonald take the 2B/SS/3B, with Bautista and Encarnacion as back-ups at 3B.  Snider, Davis and Bautista take the OF, with Lind and Rivera at the ready.  That's 13 batters.  If the rumors are true, the Jays are taking a look at Eric Chavez for the 3B role, plus there is always the chance for another trade from AA.  I would doubt that Rivera will be long for this team.

I don't think I will get over the shock for a few days.  At least this gives us something to talk about other than the impending greatness of Brad Emaus.

Spicol - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:02 PM EST (#229110) #
Think about this: if the cash in the trade were significant, MLB would have to approve it. We haven't heard anything like that. All indications are that it's pretty much done.
Spicol - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:04 PM EST (#229111) #
I'll expand on that by saying when the Cubs traded Bradley for Silva, the Cubs got $6M. That was significant enough to require approval.
stevieboy22 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:07 PM EST (#229112) #
No Manny..

Heyman saying the Rays just signed him...

melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:10 PM EST (#229113) #

Rays reported to also sign Damon

melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:12 PM EST (#229114) #
Wow and for only $2M (as tweeted by Heyman) a year Manny will be the best bargain in a decade IMO.
dan gordon - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:16 PM EST (#229115) #
I never would have believed that the Jays could rid themseleves of that Wells contract without eating a major chunk of it.  If they have done so without sending a lot of money to the Angels it's a phenominal accomplishment.  Getting a good player like Napoli and a potentially useful, if overpriced, part like Rivera as well (who as indicated above, could turn into a draft pick), without giving up any prospects is a monster win for Toronto.  Makes a major change in the team's potential for the next several years (assuming they intend to use the extra payroll flexibility).  Unbelievable. 
uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:22 PM EST (#229116) #
"So now where are we?"


1) CF Davis: .326wOBA career
2) SS Escobar: .338wOBA
3) RF Bautista: .346wOBA
4) 1B Napoli: .357wOBA
5) DH Lind: .341wOBA
6) 3B Encarnacion: .344wOBA
7) LF Snider: .331wOBA
8) 2B Hill: .327wOBA
9) C Arencibia: .232wOBA

PH) ?Lawrie?
OF) Rivera: .337wOBA
IF) MacDonald: .267wOBA
C) Molina: .273wOBA
sam - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:32 PM EST (#229117) #
I think it might be this

1. Davis CF
2. Escobar SS
3. Bautista RF
4. Lind DH/1B
5. Napoli DH/1B
6. Snider LF
7. Hill 2B
8. Arencibia C
9. Lawrie 3B

Bench
Rivera OF
Molina C
Encarnacion 3B/1B
McDonald SS/2B

I have a felling Lawrie makes the team out of spring training.
Ron - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:37 PM EST (#229118) #

Props to Wells for showing up at the mini-camp when he didnít have to be there. I know Wells took a lot of abuse from the fans but he never lashed out and was a class act. I wish him nothing but the best in Cali and Iím happy he will get a legitimate chance to compete for a playoff spot for the first time in his major league career. My favorite Wells memory is the walk off HR he hit off Rivera in the summer of 2006.

With a rock bottom payroll and a bevy of players in their 20ís that are locked up for multiple years, I hope the Jays make a serious bid for Pujols if he makes it to the open market. 2012 seems like a reasonable timeframe for the Jays to compete for a playoff spot.

Dave Till - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:41 PM EST (#229119) #
It's worth pointing out that both Napoli and Rivera are right-handed hitters with power. Their stats may receive a boost in the SkyDome. Especially in the spring, when balls tend to rocket over the fence.
david wang - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:51 PM EST (#229120) #
It turns out the Jays will pay very little of the 126 million Wells contract since it was extremely back loaded.

Time to see how 3B gets filled. I hope its not Lawrie for his sake (Snider rush wasn't a great idea), and to keep his service clock at 0.

I feel one of Rivera/Napoli/Lind will get flipped for a 3B with the Jays possibly eating money.
christaylor - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:51 PM EST (#229121) #
"let's not forget that the drop from Vernon Wells to Rajai Davis in CF is going to be, uh, steep."

Yes, is everyone forgetting this? Is everyone forgetting that this was to be the year that the team wanted to see what it has a 1B/C in Lind and JPA.

I digress... AA has, increased the team's financial flexibility. He had to do this but, now his term as GM really begins. Probably with a Jays team with a win total in the mid 70s, but no big deal.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:54 PM EST (#229122) #
A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1) WOW! Totally out of left (center?) field!
2) This just cut approx $11-12M off the Jays 2011 payroll, depending on Napoli's arb results. They could potentially end up around $55-60M, if they're going to be cheap.
3) Rays just signed BOTH Damon AND Manny. Rumor was they were after Napoli. Hmm. Napoli + Rivera for Manny? Lets AA cut another $10M off the payroll.. I don't think a supplementary pick is worth $5M+.. If the Rays go for that, it will essentially replace Vernon with Manny for $20M less.
4) Can't wait for the other shoe(s) to drop.

As others have speculated:
-this has the potential to be a great move, leading up to more great moves.
-Or, it's the first move towards another cut-all-players-over-$8M cost-cutting regime..

This probably needed Crawford to sign first, before this could happen. However, it would have been so awesome if AA could have done this earlier on, allowing him to have $10-15M to spend on a quality free agent before they were all signed..
Mylegacy - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 08:56 PM EST (#229123) #
The drop - the drop from Vernon's 2010 season or the drop from Vernon's 2009 season?

Great move! With Gose and Marisnick ticketed for CF in a couple of years Wells would have been on the team well past his sale by date. As to napoli and Rivera they both help (Napoli especially) against Lefties - our biggest weakness since the Boer War.

brent - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:04 PM EST (#229124) #
GM AA is out there buying low and selling high. I love it. Rivera and Napoli not Soscia favorites and Wells having a nice year and turning that into awesomeness. I just wonder whether Rivera will be flipped again, though.
TamRa - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:05 PM EST (#229125) #
People know exactly who Vernon Wells is - zero chance he opts out of this.  Absolutely zero.

Quotes from the past:

"Zero chance Vernon gets traded. Absolutely zero."

Removing Vernon's emotional attachment to the Jays greatly increased the odds, IMO.
dan gordon - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:11 PM EST (#229126) #
As it stands now, I would imagine the usual lineup would have Rivera, Snider and Davis in the OF, Bautista at 3B and 3 of Lind, EE, JPA and Napoli manning C/1B/DH.  Presumably Lind sits vs LHP and one of the other 3 sits vs RHP. 
uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:12 PM EST (#229127) #
1) CF Davis: .326wOBA career ----- LF Lewis: .331wOBA
2) SS Escobar: .338wOBA ----- SS Escobar: .314wOBA / Gonzo: .341wOBA
3) RF Bautista: .346wOBA ----- RF Bautista: .422wOBA
4) 1B Napoli: .357wOBA ----- CF Wells: .362wOBA
5) DH Lind: .341wOBA ----- C Buck: .345wOBA
6) 3B Encarnacion: .344wOBA ----- 3B Encarnacion: .339wOBA
7) LF Snider: .331wOBA ----- 1B Overbay: .332wOBA
8) 2B Hill: .327wOBA ----- DH Lind: .309wOBA
9) C Arencibia: .232wOBA ----- 2B Hill: .291wOBA

PH) ?Lawrie? ----- Snider .331wOBA
OF) Rivera: .337wOBA ----- Wise: .304wOBA
IF) MacDonald: .267wOBA ----- McDonald: .309wOBA
C) Molina: .273wOBA ----- Molina: .303wOBA
uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:14 PM EST (#229128) #
ah crap.

that there is this year's lineup with their career wOBA compared to last year's "lineup" with their 2010 wOBA.
brent - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:17 PM EST (#229129) #

per MLBTR Rommie Lewis DFA'd.

Thomas - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:17 PM EST (#229130) #
Rommie Lewis has been designated for assignment to make room for Napoli and Rivera.
sam - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:21 PM EST (#229131) #
I don't know if Rivera would necessarily decline arbitration. He's getting paid well right now, he turns 33 next season so teams would be paying him multiple years from age 34 onwards. In arbitration he'll likely earn a one million or so bump in salary so he'll likely be guaranteed a one year contract in the $6.5 million range. He's a good player, but you have to think that teams would be looking at him as a fourth outfielder and that's steep. Then again if he manages to start 120 games this year and put up numbers, he might think there's a multiyear offer out there.
Nick Holmes - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:23 PM EST (#229132) #
I will miss Vernon Wells. Yes, the contract was a millstone -- wasn't his fault. Injuries sapped his production -- wasn't his fault. I never heard him grouse, I never got the sense he was anything less than professional, and I always thought he carried the face-of-the-franchise burden, which I don't think he ever loved, with grace and aplomb. He was a #1 draft choice, something like #5 overall, and he can't be described as anything other than an excellent investment. QFT. He was signed as a teen, & took @#$% for a lot of stuff that he could have begged off. I'm going to look at tickets for the Angels series to go and cheer for him.
Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:27 PM EST (#229133) #
So the deal is official, It's Wells for Napoli and Rivera. No cash exchanges hands. Astonishing.

It's safe for Magpie to comment, if he will consent.
Matthew E - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:27 PM EST (#229134) #
I'll miss Wells too. He's been a fine Blue Jay. But here's the thing.

Anthopoulos made a good trade today, getting the Jays out from under a difficult contract. That was the easy part; Ricciardi managed it too (with Mondesi). Here's the hard part, which Ricciardi couldn't manage:

Don't sign anybody else to unwise contracts like that!

Nick Holmes - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:32 PM EST (#229135) #
August 12-14 it is. Maybe the Halos will pick up Michael Young & have a St Catherines night!
christaylor - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:32 PM EST (#229136) #
Here's a bold prediction -- AA will at some point sign a deal that is large/unwise. The flip side is to never take a chance to win and/or retain the home-grown talent necessary to win.

I just hope he doesn't think it wise to throw dollars at Bautista now, if it was a bad idea before Wells being traded, it is now worse.
Nick Holmes - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:34 PM EST (#229137) #
St Catharines
Matthew E - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:36 PM EST (#229138) #
Here's a bold prediction -- AA will at some point sign a deal that is large/unwise.

I don't mind so much if he signs someone to a big deal and it doesn't work out. The ones he should avoid, though, are the ones where we all know at the time that it's a stupid idea. Like Wells's contract is/was, or Corey Koskie on a smaller level.
stevieboy22 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:37 PM EST (#229139) #
I would be most thrilled if the Jays took this coin and went crazy with every international free agent and draft pick they have for the next 3 years...

Wedding Singer - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:38 PM EST (#229140) #
Dave Cameron has an article up on FanGraphs that seems to confirm that there is no money changing hands in this deal.

Vernon Wells is a class act and he will be missed on the field.

I am astounded that AA managed to pull this off. Unbelievable!!

Ryan C - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:39 PM EST (#229141) #

So Napoli has a career line against lefties of .289/.393/.538

That's..... good.

Gwyn - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:44 PM EST (#229142) #
Ricciardi managed it too (with Mondesi). JP had nothing to do with that did he ? Wasn't that trade done between Steinbrenner and Godfrey.
Powder Blues - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:47 PM EST (#229143) #
Wells the person will be missed. He stood in stark contrast to idiots like Rios and Hillenbrand.

On the other hand, Wells the contract...

uglyone - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:47 PM EST (#229144) #
speaking of the much maligned Mondesi....

career numbers....

Mondesi: 1525gms, 271hr, .271avg, .331obp, .485slg, .816ops, .350woBA
Wells: 1393gms, 223hr, .280avg, .329obp, .475slg, .804ops, .346wOBA
Forkball - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:50 PM EST (#229145) #
Keith Law says no money trading hands, and you figure he has good sources on that.  I'd be curious to how much value the Jays are gaining with this move.  $50 million?  I assume someone out there will do the analysis.

It's probably good that the team and him are going separate ways now.  The contract was a distraction and he wasn't going to be a part of the next good Jays' team. 

The Jays now got out from under Rios and Wells.  Unreal.

Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:50 PM EST (#229146) #
Echoing Gwyn, Anthopoulos is aided by the fact that he doesn't have Godfrey running things above him, he has a baseball man. So he is free to make sound baseball decisions and not worry about his boss chasing rainbows.
Ishai - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:56 PM EST (#229147) #
I don't think this necessarily means that Bautista plays RF, since I still think it is more important to the Blue Jays to have EE not playing third than it is for them to have JoBau playing RF. A Rivera/Lind platoon in LF with JoBau at 3B allows for JPA/Napoli/EE to be some iteration of C/1B/DH. If JPA falters and we have someone else to play 3B, then Napoli can play C, EE can play 1B, and JoBau could move to RF bumping Lind/Rivera to DH. I was always under the impression that Lind stopped playing LF because we had too many good outfielders, not because he was a particularly terrible left fielder (although he wasn't very good.), and now that the logjam appears to be at C/1B/DH, then it might make sense to move him back to LF.
greenfrog - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:11 PM EST (#229148) #
I remember this kid in my neighbourhood who was a total shark at trading hockey cards. I seem to recall him smooth-talking me into giving him a Wayne Gretzky (rookie?) card for a few lesser lights, somehow convincing me that I was getting the better of the deal. For some strange reason, AA reminds me of him...
Ryan C - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:11 PM EST (#229149) #

Although I don't care much for twitter, you have to laugh at this re-tweet from KLaw:
'Love how the Wells trade includes a Napoli physical, as if Jays would walk away. Doctor: "He has no legs." Jays: "Yeah, we're OK with that."

melondough - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:15 PM EST (#229150) #
Heyman twitter just updated $5M going to Angles which will cover a month an a half of Wells next year.  He follows this by saying fabulous job by AA and that in his mind this makes him early favourite for executive of the year.  The rest of the baseball world is going to get to know his name...and soon.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:19 PM EST (#229151) #
According to mlbtraderumors (via Jon Heyman), Jays are sending $5M to the Angels...
John Northey - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:19 PM EST (#229152) #
Via the Jays site there is no sign of cash changing hands. Just players.

How the heck did AA do it? Did he get the GM of the Angels plastered? Did he have photos of him with a dog? I mean, c'mon, this is just...WOW.

Vernon was a solid player and, from all evidence, a great ambassador for the Jays over the years. As others said, he isn't at fault for the team giving him a silly contract and if I can make it to a game he plays against the Jays I'll be cheering him (still hoping he makes an out, but cheering him).

So, what the heck does AA do for an encore? Does he go get Pujols for EE? Longoria for Richmond? I mean, c'mon, getting rid of the most expensive years of Wells deal ($86 mil) while getting a catcher who has a lifetime 118 OPS+, and a 106 OPS+ outfielder. FYI: Wells lifetime OPS+ is just 108.

Just un-freaking-believable.
Mike Green - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:24 PM EST (#229153) #
I have nothing to add useful to the discussion here, but to concur with the sentiments.  Brilliant move by Anthopoulos; time will tell but it wouldn't surprise me if it ends up as the 2nd or 3rd best move of a Blue Jay GM to date (the Murray/McGriff and Alomar/McGriff trades being the others). And, of course, I wish Vernon Wells the best in California. 

You know that the move is momentous when Jordan chimes in.  And somewhere off in the distance, I hear a Strat being played and it aint a blues...

Flex - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:27 PM EST (#229154) #
Keith Law's insider post on the trade begins thusly:

"Vernon Wells isn't a terrible player -- he's a solid player with a terrible contract. And he is absolutely the wrong player right now for the Angels, who have made one the worst desperation moves I can remember."
TamRa - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:46 PM EST (#229155) #
Ricciardi managed it too (with Mondesi). JP had nothing to do with that did he ? Wasn't that trade done between Steinbrenner and Godfrey.

If I recall what was written about it correctly - it was essentially all on the Yankees in. They mentioned to Godfrey who had to discuss it with JP or vice versa but it was, apparently, very much a case of the yanks proposing and the Jays seizing the moment before they woke up.

Original Ryan - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:49 PM EST (#229156) #
Per John Lott on Twitter, Tony Reagins says no cash was involved.
Lylemcr - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 10:59 PM EST (#229157) #

Incredible! 

The first thing that goes through my head..."Look at the options that they have now".

I love Vernon and he will go down as one of my favorite Jays.  But... his contract was an albatross.  It really limited the options.

I wonder if Napoli is now traded and flipped for some prospects.  I still want to see what JPA can do(unless this is the end of the line for him and the Jays want to see what the next generation of catchers can do?)

On a unrelated note, I would be tempted to put a flyer at Vlady.  In worse case, we could flip him for some prospects later on.  It is all about building the minor league system up!

I am very enthusiastic about the Jays now.  I can't believe how fast this ship has turned.  Just last year, when the Jays traded Halladay, I was ready to hang myself.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to start the parade route.  But...  the Jays seem to be moving in the right direction!

Original Ryan - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:00 PM EST (#229158) #
Jason Frasor is now the longest-tenured Blue Jays player, having joined the team in 2004.  Dustin McGowan, as a 2000 draft pick, has been in the organization the longest.  If I'm not mistaken, McGowan is also the last player in the system left over from the Gord Ash years.
timpinder - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:14 PM EST (#229159) #
Wow.  AA just bamboozled Reagins.  With the prospects coming up and now with some financial flexibility the Jays look like they could be a very serious contender in 2013 and beyond.  Yet another great move by AA.
earlweaverfan - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:20 PM EST (#229160) #
Until now, I thought I was getting a little over the top in my promotion of AA. I worried that I was giving too much credit for his almost overnight renewal of the Jays farm system, his willingness to take risks in going for players with very high upside, his building up of the scouting staff, his renewed emphasis on sourcing from Latin America and the Caribbean, his inspired choice of Farrell as Manager (and the disciplined process of selecting him), his smart and courageous trades for Drabek, d'Arnaud, Gose, and Lawrie, his skilled playing of 'managerial small-ball' (as exemplified by the Olivo move and the Encarnacion two-step), his focus on gathering many high draft picks, his outstanding draft in 2010, his cool-handed avoidance of over-paying for free agents when all the rest were losing their heads, and his solving of the speed on the basepaths gap. Not very exciting really, when you think about it.

I had almost resigned myself to him leaving a few key pieces of unfinished business undone by Spring Training - the lack of a hitting upgrade against lefties, the continuing weakness on the Jays bench, that sort of thing. Just a quiet off-season, really.

I had never even contemplated AA solving the outrageous Wells contract - not in a million years.

But wonder of wonders, he has just pulled off a huge turnaround in all three of those weaknesses in the trade that may prove to be the smartest one-way trade of the 2010s!

What I am also coming to realize is that he is creating excess depth in every position, so that no one keeps his job by divine right, or coasts through the year giving less than his best. Nor will the Jays be unprepared for injuries, when they do occur.

Does this leave any (ANY??) unfinished business before spring training? Yes, absolutely! He still needs to make it clear to his continuing roster that high expectations for patience and OBP are now the norm. He still has to strengthen his options at third. Any way he plays the Jose B situation, he has a real asset there to be maximized. High finesse will be required.

Still, I think we could all cut him a little bit of slack, now, couldn't we? He still has a few more weeks before he has to field some kind of a team.

At this rate, if he signs Pujols for a song, then trades Adam Lind to the Cardinals for their best prospect to give them a decent first baseman, none of us will be impressed at all. Ho, hum. Ho, hum.

As for Vernon, though he frustrated me often, I agree one heck of a guy, I agree he kept quiet about injuries that damaged his performance, I agree that I will cheer him onward in Anaheim. I agree his waiving of his no-trade clause was a gift to this team, and an implicit recognition on his part that he could never pay back the Jays sufficiently for a lifetime of wealth.

Nothing became his time on this team like his leaving of it. Class act. Bon voyage, Vdub. Wish you well.

Radster - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:29 PM EST (#229161) #

I am sorry to see Wells go, but the opportunity to rid the team of that contract is key.

I have their 2011 payroll at just under $64M, which was based on the figures from Cott's Contracts website, the public numbers from the recent agreements to avoid arbitration, and assuming that the Blue Jays lose the Bautista, Frasor and Napoli arbitration cases. This does not include players that will sign but not go to arbitration, such as Snider and Richmond.

JohnL - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:43 PM EST (#229162) #
After skimming the reactions above, I was curious what it was in Anaheim.  I just went to the first Angels blog I found, Halos Heaven:


Angels Release Mike Napoli, Sign Juan Rivera To Four-Year, $86 Million Extension

Ridiculous, right? I mean, that headline must be from
The Onion.

Sadly, it's all too real. While it's still uncertain how many Canadian dollars (if any) the Blue Jays will pack into Mom's Attic when Vernon Wells rents his U-Haul next month, make no mistake. They're popping corks and smoking Cubans in Toronto tonight. Alex Anthopoulos has done the impossible.

Today, the Toronto Blue Jays unloaded one of the worst contracts in baseball history and got players with positive value in return. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have just agreed to take on the majority of Vernon Wells' seven-year, $126 million deal, signed in 2006, in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.

This trade doesn't even deserve the dignity of a formal analysis. The Angels voluntarily vacated about three or four wins next season while simultaneously boosting their payroll by nearly $10 million. Sure he had weaknesses, but Mike Napoli was the second-best offensive player on the 2010 Angels, and light-years better than Jeff Mathis.

etc...
John Northey - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:46 PM EST (#229163) #
Thought I'd check FanGraphs and Cot's to see what Vernon cost and what the Jays got during the 3 years his killer deal was in effect here (2008-2010, signed pre-2007 but old deal was in effect for that season).

Paid: $40 million (average of $13.33 million per year)
Worth: $22.6 million (via FanGraphs)
Net Overpayment: $17.4 million, or $5.8 mil a year

Projected value in 2011: $11 million, Pay in 2011: $23 million

Phew. Now THAT was an ugly contract and an amazing bit of work by AA.

What about the guys coming back?

Napoli: Worth $10-12 per year for 2008-2010, projected at $15.5 for 2011

Rivera: Worth between -$3.3 million and +$14.9 over the past 3 years (and we thought Wells was variable). Projected at $2.7 for 2011.

How did he do this?
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:49 PM EST (#229164) #
JP had nothing to do with that did he ? Wasn't that trade done between Steinbrenner and Godfrey.

Ricciardi deserves the credit, and I mean that seriously, for that deal. Mondesi was a negative value with his contract, much like Alex Gonzales and Brad Fullmer. All were priced far beyond their on-field value, and although he got nothing for them just getting them off the payroll was a feat.

Of course Ricciardi's problem was that he also got nothing for players of value in the same period, like Chris Carpenter, Quantrill/Izturis, Felipe Lopez, Brandon Lyon, Scott Eyre, much too little for Jayson Werth and Billy Koch (ending up paying Boston to take Hinske), and then drafting poorly, particularly in the talent laden 2002 draft. By the middle of the decade having engineered a talent exodus rather than build-up, he was totally reliant on other teams salary dumps like Hillenbrand and to some extent Overbay, and overpaying free agents.

But in Mondesi, JP cleaned up part of the salary mess he inherited and he deserves the credit for it. I doubt Paul Godfrey did a thing that Ricciardi didn't have the final word on, except perhaps for Godfrey wearing leather pants at spring training when he'd passed 60.
Powder Blues - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:50 PM EST (#229165) #
I'm no saber wiz, but here's some basic math on this contract from the Jays's point of view.

08 salary: $500,000 - - - - - War: 1.5 - - - - - - Value in $: $6,600,000
09 salary: $1,500,000 - - - - War: 0 - - - - - - - Value in $: $0
10 salary:  $12,500,000 - - - war: 4.5 - - - - - - Value in $: $14,900,00

Total:

War: 6
Value of War: $21,500,000
Value of $ spent: $14,500,000

As the book closes on the Wells contract from a Blue Jays point of view, they are up $7,000,000 ... for what people said was the worst contract in baseball.

Not bad!

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:53 PM EST (#229166) #
I mean, that headline must be from The Onion.

I had earlier seen the mlbtr headline that the Jays were close to trading for Napoli. When I absentmindedly checked the site later and saw the 'Napoli for Wells' headline, i too snickered instinctively thinking it was a parody.
Newton - Friday, January 21 2011 @ 11:54 PM EST (#229168) #

I dub this deal the "No Money Miracle";  Leon's needs to hire AA as their spokesman.

Parentco. is going to save a mint on this deal.

If the savings from recent Jay moves (Rios dump, Marcum deal, Wells deal) are re-invested wisely by the club, coupled with the further development of our young talent, MLB may need to rename the AL East, Serie A. 

Chris DH - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 12:01 AM EST (#229169) #

Wow. Just a brilliant trade.  Alex takes the leadi for 2011 MLB Executive of the Year.

I would think Napoli isnt going anywhere.  As stated above he hits lefties very well - something the Jays were not very good at in 2010, iirc.

I will certainly make sure i am in attendance for Wells 1st game back in Toronto and hope to see a majority of fans cheering.

C.

brent - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 12:21 AM EST (#229170) #
Cot's has the five million being sent to the Angels. I thought that was a mistaken rumor, no?
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 12:56 AM EST (#229171) #
This is arguably the greatest deal in franchise history (and it will look even better once the Jays use some of this cash to build a winning team in the next few years). How was he able to pull it off without laughing at Reagins over the phone?
christaylor - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:02 AM EST (#229172) #
Just to be contrary -- from the Angel's perspective -- would you rather have Wells, two salaries off the books or sign Werth/Crawford?

Wells in a corner, on grass, could be a very productive hitter and when all is said and done, this trade might be a better deal for them than either of the two overpays.

I don't particularly like the deal if I'm an Angels fan, but it isn't hard to imagine feeling better about the deal than 2011 offseason alternatives when all is said and done.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:13 AM EST (#229173) #
Signing Crawford and Werth would have been much better, because they can actually be relied upon for above average-to-elite production for the next 3-4 years. They also don't cost two productive players in Napoli (a guy who is arguably a better player than Vernon) and Rivera (pretty close to Vernon's equal).

Vernon Wells, on the other hand, is averaging 1.75 WAR over the last four seasons and will likely decline with age.  Some were saying that this is a downgrade in CF for the Jays, but I'm not so sure that Raj Davis doesn't end up having a better year than him.

Really, I've never seen a trade so lopsided before.

Glevin - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:44 AM EST (#229174) #
"Really, I've never seen a trade so lopsided before."

There certainly aren't many trades that makes you say "what????" when you hear them. Many trades turn out lopsided, but not many are obvious immediately. I remember the Kazmir/Victor Zambrano one shocked me. When the Tigers traded most of their team for one year of Juan Gonzalez. it was obviously a huge risk. (and would have been worse had Gonzalez signed the 7 year-120 millon they offered him.) Still, very very few trades are obviously this bad. Wells isn't worth near his contract value now. In 3-4 years? Now we don't have to worry about it. The best day for Blue Jays fans in a long long time.
TamRa - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:47 AM EST (#229175) #
Really, I've never seen a trade so lopsided before.

Maybe not on the same scale, but I'd submit Olerud and 5 mil (or was it six) of his $6.5 mil salary for Robert Person as astonishingly one-sided.

christaylor - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:54 AM EST (#229176) #
Calling Rivera pretty close to Wells' equal is stretching the idea of something being pretty close well past its breaking point. Wells had a WAR of 4 last year, Rivera best season is a touch above 3.

"Vernon Wells, on the other hand, is averaging 1.75 WAR over the last four seasons and will likely decline with age. "

Way to pick your end points. Way to ignore what is known (but hasn't been griped about by the person himself) about Wells' injuries.

"Some were saying that this is a downgrade in CF for the Jays, but I'm not so sure that Raj Davis doesn't end up having a better year than him."

This IS a downgrade in CF to think anything else is... well... let's just leave it at wrong.

I'm not going to say this isn't a good trade from a payroll flexibility standpoint and even if it is not a lie that "the money will be there when the team is ready to compete" the trade needed to be done. But from a baseball perspective? Yikes, the glowing reviews of players who were marginalized on the LAA (for what I assume were good reasons) must be the afterglow talking.

Good trade, but I completely expect Rivera to contribute nothing to the Jays and Napoli to be John Buck with OBP. Davis will be a nightmare and the Jays will need to bring in a stopgap before we see Gose.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:00 AM EST (#229177) #


Career Numbers

1) CF R.Davis (30): .326wOBA, +2.6uzr/150
2) SS Y.Escobar (28): .338wOBA, +3.2uzr/150
3) RF J.Bautista (30): .346wOBA, -1.3uzr/150
4) 1B M.Napoli (29): .357wOBA, +4.3uzr/150
5) DH A.Lind (27): .341wOBA, ----uzr/150
6) 3B E.En'cion (28): .344wOBA, -11.5uzr/150
7) LF T.Snider (23): .331wOBA, +5.3uzr/150
8) 2B A.Hill (29): .327wOBA, +4.8uzr/150
9) C J.Arencibia (25): .232wOBA, ----uzr/150

UT J.Rivera (33): .337wOBA, +4.8uzr/150 (lf), -1.8uzr/150 (rf), -17.2uzr/150 (cf), +24.3uzr/150 (1b)
UT C.Patterson (31): .305wOBA, +8.9uzr/150 (cf), -3.3uzr/150 (lf)
UT J.McDonald (36): .267wOBA, +6.4uzr/150 (ss), +18.9uzr/150 (2b), -7.9uzr/150 (3b)
C J.Molina (36): .273wOBA, ----uzr/150


Top Prospect Callups: 3B/RF B.Lawrie (20), LF E.Thames (24), CF D.Mastroianni (25)



(Starters as starters, Relievers as relievers)


LH R.Romero (26): 3.99era, 3.95fip, 3.91xfip
RH B.Morrow (26): 4.49era, 3.86fip, 4.07xfip
LH B.Cecil (24): 4.61era, 4.51fip, 4.44xfip
RH K.Drabek (23): 4.76era, 4.08fip, 3.59xfip
LH M.Rzep'ski (25): 4.35era, 4.39fip, 4.03xfip
RH J.Litsch (26): 4.08era. 4.81fip, 4.72xfip


RH O.Dotel (37): 3.31era, 3.63fip, 3.66xfip
RH J.Rauch (32): 3.53era, 3.79fip, 4.31xfip
RH J.Frasor (33): 3.76era, 3.73fip, 4.02xfip
RH C.Janssen (29): 3.13era, 3.81fip, 4.05xfip
RH C.Villanueva (27): 4.09era, 3.89fip, 3.79xfip
RH S.Camp (35): 4.44era, 4.20fip, 3.95xfip
LH D.Purcey (29): 3.71era, 3.67fip, 4.57xfip
LH J.Carlson (30): 3.63era, 4.11fip, 4.32xfip


Top Prospect Callups: SP Z.Stewart (24), RP A.Farina (24)
TamRa - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:12 AM EST (#229178) #
I'm no saber wiz, but here's some basic math on this contract from the Jays's point of view.

08 salary: $500,000 - - - - - War: 1.5 - - - - - - Value in $: $6,600,000
09 salary: $1,500,000 - - - - War: 0 - - - - - - - Value in $: $0
10 salary:  $12,500,000 - - - war: 4.5 - - - - - - Value in $: $14,900,00

Total:

War: 6
Value of War: $21,500,000
Value of $ spent: $14,500,000

As the book closes on the Wells contract from a Blue Jays point of view, they are up $7,000,000 ... for what people said was the worst contract in baseball.

Not bad!


You are forgetting the payments on the signing bonus. $8.5 mil per year, for a total of $25.5 million

TamRa - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:31 AM EST (#229179) #
Here's some interesting trivia:

Jays active (i.e. on the roster) offensive leader in:

WAR: 1. Hill (15.9); 2. Bautista (of all people) (7.6)
GP: 1. Hill - 771; 2. Lind - 496
AB: 1. Hill, 2. Lind
In fact, Hill leads in  Hits, TB, doubles, triples, homers, RBI, walks, K's, even SB.




The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:02 AM EST (#229180) #
Calling Rivera pretty close to Wells' equal is stretching the idea of something being pretty close well past its breaking point. Wells had a WAR of 4 last year, Rivera best season is a touch above 3.
They're basically equivalent hitters (see the OPS+ comparison), and they are both LFs going forward (assuming the Angels haven't completely lost their minds and will put Bourjos in center). Seems pretty close to me, no?

 Way to pick your end points. Way to ignore what is known (but hasn't been griped about by the person himself) about Wells' injuries.
Whatever point you pick, the most important point is that Vernon Wells can't stay healthy, and that three of his last four seasons have been mediocre to awful. There isn't much reason to expect him to repeat that 2010 season again.

This IS a downgrade in CF to think anything else is... well... let's just leave it at wrong.
Yes, it would be a downgrade if you were to assume that Vernon Wells will somehow stay healthy. But odds are that he won't. And based on Raj's production over the last 2-3 years, we can probably expect about 2 WAR from Davis next year in CF. Will Vernon top that? Maybe, but he hasn't in three of his last four seasons.


I'm not going to say this isn't a good trade from a payroll flexibility standpoint and even if it is not a lie that "the money will be there when the team is ready to compete" the trade needed to be done. But from a baseball perspective? Yikes, the glowing reviews of players who were marginalized on the LAA (for what I assume were good reasons) must be the afterglow talking.
Unless you think the stats are lying, the Jays got the better and more valuable player in this deal. The fact that the Angels didn't use him as they should have over his time there isn't a poor reflection on Napoli.

Good trade, but I completely expect Rivera to contribute nothing to the Jays and Napoli to be John Buck with OBP. Davis will be a nightmare and the Jays will need to bring in a stopgap before we see Gose.
Or, just as likely, Rivera could prove to be a productive LF that the Jays can trade during the season and Mike Napoli's power could translate to 30+ HR in the RC as he becomes a productive 1B/C/DH.

Really, this is every bit the fleecing it appears. There is no defense for what the Angels did here.
China fan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:15 AM EST (#229181) #

Now we know why AA believes in such secrecy around his trades:  if the details leaked out in advance, the opposing GM would be such a laughing-stock, and a villain to his fans, that the deals would have to be cancelled....

Just a day ago, I predicted on another thread that AA would trade for a veteran catcher.  (Having offered 4 days a week to Russell Martin at catcher, it was pretty clear that AA wasn't willing to go into 2011 with no alternative to JPA as the everyday catcher.)  I find it odd that so many people were willing to see JPA as the everyday catcher in 2011, just as an experiment to "see what we got."  Anthopolous stated very clearly, months ago, that he's not willing to be "left naked" at catcher in 2011.  And he went out and did exactly what he said he would do.

Now he's got Napoli available as a catcher if JPA is not ready. He has maximum flexibility at catcher, 1B and DH.  If JPA has a great spring training and looks ready in the early weeks of the season, Napoli can switch to 1B or DH.  Similarly, if Lind or EE are having problems, there's nothing to stop them being benched -- the Jays aren't dependent on them.  Between those 4 players (Napoli, JPA, Lind and EE), the Jays need only 3 of them on any given day.  You just pick the three who are playing best.  Problem sorted.

Key question now is the outfield and 3B, and I have to think that another shoe will drop. The holes are too obvious.  An outfield of Snider-Davis-Rivera would be pathetic (unless Davis and Rivera somehow revert to their 2009 numbers).  Shifting EE back to 3B would be equally pathetic. So I'm assuming that Anthopolous will acquire another player for the OF or 3B.

As for the Wells contract: yes, it's brilliant that the Jays have gotten rid of the albatross contract, but the key question is what AA does with the money -- and when.  He wrote off 2010 and 2011 as rebuilding years, and he could probably get away with declaring 2012 as a rebuilding year too.  (He knows he's under no pressure from the owners for the first three years of his tenure as GM, and it would be tempting to "keep rebuilding" for another year or two.)  But that would be the easy avenue.  Personally I think the Jays need to make a push for contention in 2012. No more excuses. By 2012, the Jays will have the money and the payroll flexibility and the upcoming young stars and rising prospects and young pitchers -- everything they need. Time to use it.

China fan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:34 AM EST (#229182) #

....They're basically equivalent hitters (see the OPS+ comparison)....

To call Wells and Rivera "equivalent hitters" is a bit much.  To do that, you have to ignore their 2010 numbers and put all of your faith in their career numbers. It stands to reason that their 2010 numbers are a little more relevant than their career numbers.  And in 2010 there was absolutely no comparison:  Wells had an OPS+ of 127 and Rivera had an OPS+ of 97.   Going forward, those numbers have a fair amount of relevance -- you can't just assume that Rivera improves to his career average and Wells declines to his career average.  In fact, the momentum is the opposite way:  Wells improved dramatically from 2009 to 2010, while Rivera deteriorated.

Of course there's a theoretical possibility that they suddenly go in the reverse direction in 2011, with Rivera suddenly improving and Wells suddenly deteriorating, but the evidence doesn't point that way.  Why would Rivera make a dramatic improvement at his age?  It might be reasonable to expect Wells to decline somewhat in 2011, but why would Rivera suddenly improve?  They're the same age, and equally prone to age-related declines.  If you predict that Wells will decline in 2011, it would be reasonable to expect Rivera to decline as well.  So, again, there's no actual evidence to support the notion that Rivera suddenly becomes as good as Wells in the future.  Career numbers are not a logical way to predict future performance.

Bottom line: the Jays outfield is worse in 2011, unless they acquire another player.

China fan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:44 AM EST (#229183) #
By the way, the ideal scenario for the Jays is that all of their new acquisitions revert to their 2009 numbers.  Measured by OPS+, the numbers would be:  Napoli at 120, Rivera at 111, Davis at 107 (with an OBP of .360), and you could also include Escobar at 115.   And then, if Lind and Hill revert to their 2009 numbers too, what an amazing lineup!  Unfortunately it's unlikely to happen.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:51 AM EST (#229184) #
To call Wells and Rivera "equivalent hitters" is a bit much. To do that, you have to ignore their 2010 numbers and put all of your faith in their career numbers. It stands to reason that their 2010 numbers are a little more relevant than their career numbers. And in 2010 there was absolutely no comparison: Wells had an OPS+ of 127 and Rivera had an OPS+ of 97. Going forward, those numbers have a fair amount of relevance -- you can't just assume that Rivera improves to his career average and Wells declines to his career average. In fact, the momentum is the opposite way: Wells improved dramatically from 2009 to 2010, while Rivera deteriorated.

Again, if we assume Vernon stays healthy in 2011, he's the better hitter. But why would anybody assume such a thing at this point about him? He's just as likely to get hurt and struggle in a ballpark that he's never been able to hit in then put up another season like 2010.

So, again, there's no actual evidence to support the notion that Rivera suddenly becomes as good as Wells in the future. Career numbers are not a logical way to predict future performance.

I never said Rivera would be as good as Wells in the future, but why does he have to be? He's a productive player that the Jays can use as trade bait if he has a bounceback campaign in 2011. If he doesn't do anything, well, he'll be let go at the end of the year (which, of course, wouldn't have been an option with Vernon Wells).  They're already getting the best player in the deal (Napoli).


Bottom line: the Jays outfield is worse in 2011, unless they acquire another player.

Debatable (especially if they use Rivera in a platoon), though even if it is worse, why does it matter? They're not contending for anything.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:58 AM EST (#229185) #
If it was up to me, I'd probably just put E5 at 3rd. He improved considerably defensively last year at that position (UZR) and might be worth another shot there, but the Jays don't seem to be happy with that arrangement.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 04:01 AM EST (#229186) #
There's also that whole Eric Chavez thing, though.
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 04:19 AM EST (#229187) #
Obviously, adding a DH and a fourth outfielder doesn't improve the team on the field. But I don't think this is supposed to do that. This is a salary dump. A salary dump only helps the team if you do something useful with the money you've saved.

So... we'll see, won't we?
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:02 AM EST (#229188) #
If it was up to me, I'd probably just put E5 at 3rd. He improved considerably defensively last year at that position (UZR) and might be worth another shot there, but the Jays don't seem to be happy with that arrangement. There's also that whole Eric Chavez thing, though.

If it was up to me, it is obvious that the Jays need more outfielders. Glancing the player tracker at MLB.com, Ryan Church, Baldelli and the former Jays Gabe Gross are available. At any rate, the Jays need to make a trade for an OF. I would give E5 another shot. Chavez is a really long shot; if it was up to me, I would sign Gross to a minor league contract with ST invitation.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:03 AM EST (#229189) #
It's hard to argue that adding Napoli, even at the expense of Wells, doesn't improve the Jays.
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:10 AM EST (#229190) #
Agreed. Anyway, the next move for AA is to trade for an OF, preferably an RF which can be cheaply had. Assuming AA's preference on former Expos (a.k.a. Rivera, Cordero), Ryan Church is available and he is a LHB RF
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:17 AM EST (#229191) #
It's hard to argue that adding Napoli, even at the expense of Wells, doesn't improve the Jays.

He hit .238/.316/.468 last year and he doesn't really have a position. Albert Pujols he's not. Both teams in this deal were taking out the trash, dumping players or contracts they didn't want anymore.
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:36 AM EST (#229192) #
Sort of. The Jays still own them 5.25M (Rivera) and 6.1M-$5.3M Napoli. But their contracts expire after 2011. Given the history of contract negotiation for AA, he would be prudent not to sign someone to a long contract much like Wells. IMO, I think Napoli is like a power surge of Jake Fox, who also played multiple positions.
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:46 AM EST (#229193) #
He hit .238/.316/.468 last year and he doesn't really have a position. Albert Pujols he's not.

He's only averaged 2.8 WAR over the last three years as a part-time C/1B and proved adept defensively at 1B last season. Not to mention the fact that he's only going to be making $5-6M next year. But yeah, I suppose you're right, Albert Pujols he's not.

 Both teams in this deal were taking out the trash, dumping players or contracts they didn't want anymore.

Because no team has ever dumped an otherwise valuable player before once they got into a manager's doghouse. Yunel Escobar ring any bells?
The_Game - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:52 AM EST (#229194) #
While Mike Napoli's most similar batter through age 28 isn't Albert Pujols, it is Jorge Posada (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/napolmi01.shtml).

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 08:12 AM EST (#229195) #
While Mike Napoli's most similar batter through age 28 isn't Albert Pujols, it is Jorge Posada

Which does kind of put that whole "most similar" concept in jeopardy, if you ask me.

Hey, so I'm not wild about the players coming here. They're not the point, and I understand and approve of what the real point is - getting out from under Wells' contract. J.P. Ricciardi spent years complaining about a contract he inherited (Carlos Delgado), and he left his successor a contract that was far, far worse....
mathesond - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 08:30 AM EST (#229196) #
I agree his waiving of his no-trade clause was a gift to this team, and an implicit recognition on his part that he could never pay back the Jays sufficiently for a lifetime of wealth.

Great line, and another reason why I'll cheer for him on his return, and wish him well for the rest of his career
CeeBee - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 08:52 AM EST (#229197) #
Vernon's last gift to Toronto is something Carlos Delgado failed to do.... waive his no trade clause. Like magpie says, now it all up to how the Jays spend the gift..... if they do.
melondough - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 08:55 AM EST (#229198) #

"Of course there's a theoretical possibility that they suddenly go in the reverse direction in 2011, with Rivera suddenly improving and Wells suddenly deteriorating, but the evidence doesn't point that way.  Why would Rivera make a dramatic improvement at his age?  It might be reasonable to expect Wells to decline somewhat in 2011, but why would Rivera suddenly improve?"

Maybe partly because of a new atmosphere, hitter friendly ballbark, and most of all because of a change in batting coaches who will likely preach a different batting philosophy as in "look for a pitch and swing away".

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 08:57 AM EST (#229199) #
I agree his waiving of his no-trade clause was a gift to this team, and an implicit recognition on his part that he could never pay back the Jays sufficiently for a lifetime of wealth.

I dunno. Los Angeles is a pretty nice place to live, if you ask me. And if you're 32 years old and you've never played a post-season game in your life, there are other reasons to like Anaheim.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 09:29 AM EST (#229200) #
Napoli's career hitting numbers are much better than Verno's, and he can also play a premium defensive position poorly, just like Verno does. And he's 3+ years younger.

If Verno and Napoli had the exact same contracts, and the Angels offered me Napoli for Verno, I'd probably have taken the deal.


now let's fire up a trade rumour from last year......Colby Rasmus to Toronto!
Paul D - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 09:35 AM EST (#229201) #
I'm not convinced Napoli's defence was poor - I just think that the Angels thought it was.
ogator - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 09:38 AM EST (#229202) #
  I'm not sure it is possible to add anything new to the discussion but...to this point, we only know half of the information we need to know to evaluate the trade.  We do know that to this point that the Jays have saved over 80 million dollars over four years.  There are three possible outcomes about which we don't know.  The Jays could take that 86 million dollars and sign contracts that turn out to be just as poor as the Wells contract seems to be at this point in time.  Second, the Jays could take that money and sign better contracts than the Wells contract, a fairly good possibility but not at all certain.  Finally, Rogers could pocket that money protesting that the teams in 2011 or 2012 or 20-and-whatever, are not yet close to contending and that they will readily spend that money when the time is ripe.  The assumption of many who are declaring Anthopoulos to be some god-like worker of miracles, is that Rogers is telling the truth i.e. that that money will be wisely spent.  My own personal experience with the company is that their history of telling the truth is not all that pristine.  My point is that it is not really possible to draw any conclusions about the trade until we see what happens to that money.
timpinder - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 09:43 AM EST (#229203) #

I've read a lot of reports that suggest that the Jays will use the money freed up by trading Wells to try to sign Bautista to a long-term deal. 

Please AA, don't rid yourself of one mistake only to sign another.  Bautista is 30 years old and 2010 was a fluke.  Take the draft picks or trade him.  I'm willing to wait for 2013 and beyond.  Spend the money on veteren pieces only once the likes of Gose, Marasnick, Lawrie, Perez, Hechavarria and the upcoming starting pitchers are established.

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 09:56 AM EST (#229204) #
I'm not convinced Napoli's defence was poor

Oh, there were plenty of witnesses. They tell some pretty blood-curdling stories. And for the most part, I tend to think Mike Scioscia knows what he's doing in general, and knows something about catching at the major league level in particular.

Napoli did seem to acquit himself quite well at first base, especially for someone who hadn't played there before. Unfortunately for him, there's no room for him to play there in Anaheim. I also assume the Jays would rather turn the position over to a) the younger guy, who b) they've already signed to a longterm deal. So I would expect Napoli to get most of his ABs here as a DH.
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:09 AM EST (#229205) #
It might be reasonable to expect Wells to decline somewhat in 2011, but why would Rivera suddenly improve?

No reason whatsoever, but there's a reasonable chance Rivera could just have a random good year. It was a very strange year in Disneyland last season - an awful lot of their hitters simply didn't hit as well as they had before. Old ones, young ones, fast ones, slow ones. Maybe there was a lot of smog or something...

Trying to figure out what Vernon Wells will do from one year to the next has always been desperate work. Some years he rakes at home and is hopeless on the road, some years are the exact opposite. Some years he destroys LH pitching, last year the southpaws ate him up.

If only there was another example of a 32 year old AL outfielder, who'd spent his entire career playing CF on artificial turf in a good hitter's park, who then moved to Anaheim.

Hang on...
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:12 AM EST (#229206) #
well, he may be "younger", but Lind's only 2yrs younger than Napoli, and rumour has it that they're looking at locking up Napoli for a few years, so the contract difference probably won't be much either.

And Napoli is most likely a far superior defender than Lind, and has better offensive numbers as well.

Can't see them deciding to play Lind at 1B just to prove some kind of point, to be honest.
Thomas - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:21 AM EST (#229207) #
Magpie, I think you're underrating Napoli. He's had an OBP of .350 above for 4 of his 5 major league seasons. His OPS+ has been above 110 4 of his 5 big league seasons. That's particularly good for someone who can play some catcher, as well as first base and DH.

I've seen him catch and he's never struck me as an awful defender. Plus, I'll grant that Scioscia should be granted some deference in his view that Mathis is a superior defender. But, just because Mathis is a better defensive catcher, which nobody is arguing against, it does not stand to reason that Napoli can't give you 2 or 3 games a week behind the plate without causing too much harm. Napoli's caught 406 games in his major league career, including 66 last year. If his defence was jaw-droppingly bad, why would Scioscia have let him catch that many?

Also, I see Napoli perhaps playing 2 games a week at C, 2 games a week at 1B and 2 games a week at DH. I think the Jays will continue to try to have Lind play at 1B, simply because he's going to be here for several years and it's much better for the team if he can play 1B rather than being relegated to DH. If you're going to have Lind learn 1B, this year is as good as any to try that experiment.
RhyZa - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:32 AM EST (#229208) #
It's hard to argue that this isn't one of the greatest trades ever.  I can't even bring myself to attempt to analyze it, or begin to imagine any downside.
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:41 AM EST (#229209) #
better offensive numbers as well.

He certainly did in 2010, he certainly didn't in 2009. Those are the only seasons either player has really spent as a more or less everyday guy.

On the one hand, it's hard to like how to this point in his career it seems that the more Napoli plays, the less he hits. But on the other hand, I would expect the RC to agree with him. More important, I would also expect not having to pretend he's a catcher (or having to learn a new position in mid-season) and being able to just focus on hitting may help him a great deal. The last few years have been the same out in Anaheim - Napoli starts the season as the regular catcher, because he's so obviously a far, far better hitter than Mathis. And after a few months Scioscia just can't stand watching him catch anymore. And Napoli had to feel some kind of pressure from that, and it couldn't have been good for him...

But I would be very, very surprised if he ends up rotating through C and 1b and DH, playing two games a week at each place. Most managers just don't do that sort of thing anymore. It says here he'll be the DH, he'll spell Lind at first on occasion, and he'll be the third - emergency - catcher. Behind Arenicibia and Molina.
smcs - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:45 AM EST (#229210) #
and rumour has it that they're looking at locking up Napoli for a few years,

Rumored from where?  Because as I think we all learned from what happened yesterday, or had it reinforced yesterday, there ain't no leaks in the Anthopolous front office.
Wildrose - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:53 AM EST (#229211) #
I'm almost more excited by the Jordan sighting than the trade itself. Damn that guy can write.

I'll always remember the Tom Verducci spring training article of a few years back where the S.I. writer went through training camp with the team. It reflected quite positively on Vernon Wells. Couple that with the fact he was the teams union player rep. for many years, it was obvious to me that he was a bright young man who was generally a team leader. I hope his legacy isn't the onerous contract he was signed to.

It would be interesting to know what the Angels were thinking of in this deal. I suspect pressure on management from the owner.

I'm with Magpie on this deal. Money saved is only valuable if it is spent. I remain cautiously optimistic that the team under A.A. will use it wisely as opposed to funneling it into the Rogers bottom line.
christaylor - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:56 AM EST (#229212) #
Yes, please! Cards? Want Drabek? Drabek+another top 5 prospect? Sure.

Such a trade would really be way too much for AA at this point, but today's not the day to express any doubts about AA's abilities.
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:58 AM EST (#229213) #
It would be interesting to know what the Angels were thinking of in this deal.

About winning the division, I assume. To that end, Wells is an upgrade on Rivera in LF. And Scott Downs is a major upgrade to their bullpen (while the Angels' rotation looks pretty stacked, their bullpen wasn't so hot last season.)

Of course, the real upgrade in Disneyland is a whole season of Dan Haren and Kendry Morales.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:01 AM EST (#229214) #
J.P. Arencibia and Jose Molina -or- J.P. Arencibia and Mike Napoli, which catching tandem makes this team better.   Rivera is a free agent after this season, is he a Type B yet or is he close?
ds - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:09 AM EST (#229215) #
Not that it wasn't fairly obvious at this point, but I think it's safe to say that AA has now become the second best GM this franchise has ever had.  It might take him a while to pass Pat, but man is he off to a great start.
Chris DH - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:15 AM EST (#229216) #

The last few years have been the same out in Anaheim - Napoli starts the season as the regular catcher, because he's so obviously a far, far better hitter than Mathis.

 Napoli barely saw any at bats in the first few weeks of April.  Mathis was the starter and was tearing it up to the tune of .324/.361/.500 (small sample size)...until he fractured his right wrist in April.  I didnt think Napoli would ever start at catcher until the bad break occured for Mathis.

 

ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:16 AM EST (#229217) #

my 2 cents:

  • I think Molina ends up in Vegas if he clears waivers.
  • JPA and Napoli will share the catching duties, with JPA getting the lion's share until he shows he can't hack it.
  • Napoli spends the balance of time between DH and 1B
  • Rivera is a candidate to be released, otherwise it's a question beween Rivera/Snider at the corners and EE at DH, or EE at 3B and Rivera at DH.
  • I think there'll be another bat brought in., through trade or FA.
  • Not that he needed it, but AA just bought himself a boatload of latitude with Phil Lind and the Rogers boys.

 

Thomas - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:23 AM EST (#229218) #
But I would be very, very surprised if he ends up rotating through C and 1b and DH, playing two games a week at each place. Most managers just don't do that sort of thing anymore. It says here he'll be the DH, he'll spell Lind at first on occasion, and he'll be the third - emergency - catcher. Behind Arenicibia and Molina.

Perhaps you're right, but I still think using Napoli between all three positions would (depending on how other moves shake out) likely the most optimal use of his talents.

I don't see Molina heading to Las Vegas. We don't know how Farrell handles things yet, but most managers have a real reluctance to use their backup catcher at DH regularly, as that will leave the team without a DH should the starting catcher get hurt. It's not necessarily the biggest deal, but it is something that managers just tend not do. Unless they are keeping Napoli strictly as a catcher, which I doubt, then I think Molina's on the team.

Original Ryan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:24 AM EST (#229219) #
I dunno. Los Angeles is a pretty nice place to live, if you ask me. And if you're 32 years old and you've never played a post-season game in your life, there are other reasons to like Anaheim.

I'd also add that the Angels make three trips into Dallas each year, while the Blue Jays only make one or two (depending on the year).  I'd also argue that a change of scenery might be in Vernon's best interest since he's been a frequent target of criticism from Blue Jays fans and has four years left on his contract.  Delgado was set to become a free agent at the end of the year and had no real need to get out of Toronto for the final two months of his contract.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:30 AM EST (#229220) #
Of course you're right about three catchers, Thomas.  While i don't think it should be a major concern, and Maddon often demonstrated as much in Tampa, it is a managerial convention.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:30 AM EST (#229221) #
"About winning the division, I assume. To that end, Wells is an upgrade on Rivera in LF. And Scott Downs is a major upgrade to their bullpen (while the Angels' rotation looks pretty stacked, their bullpen wasn't so hot last season.)"

not sure Wells + Bourjos replacing Napoli + Rivera is the kind of move that puts a team over the top, to be honest.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:32 AM EST (#229222) #
And when you think about it, using a PH for the hitter is probably a better option than having Molina hit.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:33 AM EST (#229223) #

I am in utter shock at this trade, and haven't stopped smiling yet.  I expect (and very much hope) that Vernon Wells does well in LA simply by getting out of the AL East and the pressure of the contract.  He was a class act, but a truly overpaid player. That said, the only reason Jays fans were upset about his contract is because it prevented us from signing another one.  In LA that isn't necessarily the case so I hope he gets some rope from the fans out there.

As for what this means to the team. I think it means we will be going HARD after a decent 3B.  My suggestions: Micheal Young, Pablo Sandoval or Chone Figgins, Panda being the first choice. All whom are at least somewhat available. Of course by AA's established standards it would pretty much have to be David Wright or Evan Longoria.

If we are signing Bautista to an extension, it had better be good value. Otherwise I make him replicate last year before signing him. Max 3 yrs 27 million.  Otherwise we talk after the season (risk/reward just doesn't add up).

I think the rest of the lineup fills out pretty well but am I the only one who things that Bautista might get a crack at CF? He has the athleticism and the reads to be a useful CF.  Sure I'd give Davis the first crack but it'd be a shorter leash with Bautsita in mind. 

SK in NJ - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:35 AM EST (#229224) #
I wonder what type of bonus Rogers could give a guy who just saved them $74 million over the next four seasons. AA will have a job for life it looks like.

Wow. Props to Alex A for getting this done. Amazing trade.

melondough - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:43 AM EST (#229225) #

Pretty unbelievable financial flexibility starting next year.  D.J. Short's NBCHardball Talk article highlights this very well suggesting the Jays  have only $17.4 in payroll commitment starting in 2012 ((including some buyouts).

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/22/the-blue-jays-have-next-to-nothing-in-payroll-obligations-for-2012/

Any idea who the top the free agents are expected to be next year?  Actually my guess is that AA will rather choose to trade some of this minor league stash for top end talent who may have onerous yet undervalued contracts (or expected to ask for big $$ in order to sign - like Grienke).  The question is which small market teams own talent like a Grienke who they feel they can't sign long-term and would be willing to move for prospects.  Fielder fits the bill but I hope they stays away from that walking time bomb. 

 

China fan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:47 AM EST (#229226) #

....It says here he'll be the DH, he'll spell Lind at first on occasion, and he'll be the third - emergency - catcher.....

But if Lind and Napoli are the regulars at 1B and DH, what's the point of paying $2.5-million to Encarnacion this season?   Given that AA tends to throw around dollars like manhole covers, I'd be surprised if he would pay $2.5-million to a player to sit on the bench, especially since EE lacks any real defensive value.  (And let's face it, Encarnacion is not going to play at 3B this year.) 

Moreover, why would AA decide to anoint Napoli as a full-time replacement for Encarnacion at DH, when Napoli's salary is twice as high?  Encarnacion's hitting numbers in 2010 were almost identical to those of Napoli.  (Napoli had an OPS of .784 last year, while EE had an OPS of .787.)   Napoli's real value is that, unlike Encarnacion, he can play catcher -- even if he's not a great defender at the position.  I'd be surprised if Anthopolous would allow that value to be wasted.   I'm not saying that Napoli will be the full-time catcher -- he might only play a couple games a week at catcher -- but he is insurance for the possibility that JPA isn't ready yet.  We're all hoping that JPA has a great rookie season, but he could struggle.  And if he struggles, the Jays won't want Molina to be the only alternative.

Mick Doherty - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:58 AM EST (#229228) #

fighting off the Rangers

Of course, you mean "catching" the Rangers!

To the person who wondered aboutthe Jays  now going after Michael Young -- two points. One, he's not a very good defensive third baseman,s o you probably don't want to go there. (The Rangers are planning to use him at DH and 1B mostly, unless Mitch Moreland really puts it all together.) There was recently talk of the Rangers signing Manny, which they were never going to do for the same reason Vlad is gone  -- having  a primary DH would seriously curtail options to get AB to Young, the captain, who Ron Washington loves.

I know North Texas fans will be bummed to see the Arlington native Wells in the uiniform of the arch-enemy. But I think this deal is good for the Rangers, too!

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 12:20 PM EST (#229233) #
Wells + Bourjos replacing Napoli + Rivera is [not] the kind of move that puts a team over the top, to be honest.

No, but it's definitely an upgrade. Especially because Napoli simply had no position in Anaheim, what with Morales coming back to play 1b and Abreu moving over to DH. Granted, Bourjos has to hit at least a little bit for it all to work and he didn't manage even that last year. But if he can, and he should - well, he's simply an amazing defender (Rivera is roughly the opposite.) The Angels' pitching staff just got a whole lot better.
Forkball - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 12:49 PM EST (#229242) #
I'd be surprised if he would pay $2.5-million to a player to sit on the bench, especially since EE lacks any real defensive value.  (And let's face it, Encarnacion is not going to play at 3B this year.)

There's a middle ground between everyday starter and exclusive bench player.  I don't think it'd be hard to find 100 starts somewhere for EE, particularly if there's an injury or two.

And an injury or two could force the team to play EE at 3B.  I'm sure they don't want to, but it's nice to have that flexibility if need be.  I see him filling the same role Hillenbrand did in one of his final seasons; he was planned to play 1B/DH, but had to play 3B when the starter (Glaus, I believe) was injured and played it well enough to get by in the short term.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:13 PM EST (#229245) #
"no, but it's definitely an upgrade. Especially because Napoli simply had no position in Anaheim,"

I don't see it. Wells over Napoli in the lineup is no definite offensive upgrade, especially when it now means that Jeff Mathis is forced to start most every game.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:16 PM EST (#229247) #
"But if Lind and Napoli are the regulars at 1B and DH, what's the point of paying $2.5-million to Encarnacion this season? Given that AA tends to throw around dollars like manhole covers, I'd be surprised if he would pay $2.5-million to a player to sit on the bench, especially since EE lacks any real defensive value. (And let's face it, Encarnacion is not going to play at 3B this year.)"

not sure what the problem is. EE clearly deserves a shot at starting at 3B, and IMO the only way that doesn't happen is if Rivera bounces back bigtime this year. And even if Rivera does bounceback, $2.5 for a quality bench bat who can play the one spot in the starting lineup where we don't have a natural position player in there already (i.e. 3B) is hardly too expensive.
CaramonLS - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:21 PM EST (#229248) #
Magpie, I just don't think it is a fair assessment to call an above average offensive catcher "another team's trash".
China fan - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:35 PM EST (#229250) #

....EE clearly deserves a shot at starting at 3B....

Well, let's see: as a 3B, he was dumped by the Reds, dumped twice by the Jays, and dumped again by Oakland.  He finally managed to get a one-year contract when he agreed to abandon 3B, move to 1B or DH, and swallow a 50% pay cut.  To me, this doesn't look like someone who will be the regular 3B for the Jays in 2011.

Having said that, of course EE would be useful to have around as an emergency 3B in case of injuries. But when there are still many other options available, I don't see any likelihood of him being the regular 3B this year. The need for a 3B has been obvious to Anthopolous for the past 12 months, and he is undoubtedly working on it.  Let's wait and see what he comes up with, but undoubtedly he will acquire someone by trade or free agency -- either a 3B or an OF so that Bautista can move to 3B.  To imagine that Anthopolous would simply allow 3B to go unfilled, so that 3B has to fall back into the hands of the player whom he twice already dumped, just doesn't make much sense.

 

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:40 PM EST (#229252) #
Wells over Napoli in the lineup is no definite offensive upgrade

Wells is replacing Rivera. It's a minor upgrade, and has nothing to do with Napoli, who doesn't play in the outfield. Napoli was essentially squeezed out by the return of Morales. Accordingly, the Angels have been trying to get rid of him for quite some time now. They saw him as redundant, a waste of money, etc etc.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:45 PM EST (#229253) #
I have a world of respect  for Mike Scioscia.  That does not however make Mike Napoli a useless player in the least; all it means is that his talents may not be ideally suited for what the Angels have. He's a catcher, who at this stage anyway, is ideally suited to be primarily a DH/1B, and hits well enough to take the role.  The number of poor defensive catchers who have gone on to succeed in this role is large- Cliff Johnson, Jim Leyritz and Victor Martinez come to mind very quickly.  It may indeed be that transplanted catchers succeed better in the DH role (using the time on the bench to study the pitcher perhaps more effectively than a transplanted outfielder might, and also freed from the strain on the body of catching). 

What is brilliant about this trade is that, not only was a huge salary dump achieved with no loss of overall talent (in my view), but the talents were re-arranged so well.  The immediate result should be renewed negotiations with Bautista, as it should be clear to all that there is a spot for a right-fielder on the club for the next few years. 

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:46 PM EST (#229255) #
Jeff Mathis is forced to start most every game.

Hank Conger will arrive this year. Probably in late May...
ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:49 PM EST (#229257) #

Rivera, for a variety of reasons, was never more than a part-time player in Anaheim.  I`m not sure I see Wells as his replacement.  This is a Napoli for Wells trade, with Rivera thrown in as a salary dump.

And looking at it that way, AA did decide on Rivera rather than more cash, so he might have at least some interest in him.

uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:51 PM EST (#229258) #
in 2009, that's 2 seasons ago, Rivera was a full time player for the Angels. he put up 25hr and an .810ops in almost 600pa that year.
Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:56 PM EST (#229260) #
his talents may not be ideally suited for what the Angels have.

Sure - he could very easily DH here for 130 games and hit 35 HRs. But the only way he does that in Anaheim is if Kendry Morales breaks another leg, only this time in spring training.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 01:56 PM EST (#229261) #

I must have been in a coma in 2009.

Magpie - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:06 PM EST (#229263) #
I must have been in a coma in 2009.

Lucky you.
uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:06 PM EST (#229264) #
"Wells is replacing Rivera. It's a minor upgrade, and has nothing to do with Napoli"

I know you're trying to dismiss Napoli as no loss for the Angels, but he was one of their best hitters, and you just can't do that.

You're trying to argue that the Angels have significantly improved themselves here, and I just don't see it.

Matsui (2010 .820ops) was already let go to make room for Morales (career .838ops).

If you do believe that Wells is directly replacing Rivera, then you're left with that minor upgrade compared to the massive downgrade from Napoli to Mathis behind the plate.

and that is a downgrade from an all-star level offensive catcher to one of the worst hitters in all of baseball.




Geoff - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:14 PM EST (#229267) #
What I find spooky about this is that the Angels are the ones who seemed to set the market for Wells' contract in 2007. It was only a month before Wells signed in December 2007 that Hunter signed with the Angels. Hunter for 5 years and $90 million; Wells for 7 and $126 million. Both contracts average $18 million per season, only Vernon got an extra two years.

But Vernon's contract was backloaded while Torii got his money spread evenly. Torii got a $2.5 million signing bonus; Vernon got a $25.5 million signing bonus over three years.

The Jays will have paid Vernon $40 million over the years 2008-2010, including the bonus; the Angels will have paid Torii $54 million over the same period. Torii has two years left; Vernon four.

The Angels have wound up with both contracts! After such a big deal was made about them breaking the bank to sign Hunter to that contract on the heels of signing Matthews Jr. to a big contract to play centerfield. Eclipsed only by the idiocy of the Jays inking an even more lucrative contract with Wells on the heels of Hunter.

The Angels will play Matthews Jr. $11 million to do whatever he's going to be doing this year; Torii will get $18 million and Vernon $23 million. Obscene.

Tony Reagins has some kind of fetish for self-mutilation. For a guy who preached "hard work" for getting him where he was, he is going to need to work his tail off to save face here.

ayjackson - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 02:22 PM EST (#229268) #
Great post Geoff.  I was going to point out that the only way Vernon`s contract is defensible is when you realize it was an $18m per year contract.  Well it isn`t anymore.  It`s now a 4 year, $21.5m per year contract.
Chris DH - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:00 PM EST (#229272) #

Hank Conger may end up having the same issues that Napoli had in Anaheim.  There are some pretty big question marks about Conger's defense.  And, in my mind, Scioscia seems to prefer defense at catcher above everything else.  I think Mathis gets most of the at-bats at catcher in Anaheim this year.

With the questions around Napoli's defense - wonder if he sees any time behind the plate with the Jays.  It would seem to me that he starts against every lefthander as the DH or 1B and lets one of Edwin or Adam sit.  Beyond that, will have to wait and see.

And, I agree with some of the comments that its great to see the $86M contract come off the books but its also important to see how the ~$75M savings is reinvested into the team.  Will we see additions at the major league club? An even greater number of international signings? Increased budget for the draft in 2011 and beyond?

uglyone - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:13 PM EST (#229273) #
just for curiosity's sake, I wanted to compare the Angels' and Blue Jays' rosters quickly. I'll use career wOBA for the hitters, and career fip for the pitchers.


1) 2B H.Kendrick (27) .328wOBA --- CF R.Davis (30) .326wOBA
2) DH B.Abreu (37) .387wOBA --- SS Y.Escobar (28) .338wOBA
3) RF T.Hunter (35) .344wOBA --- RF J.Bautista (30) .346wOBA
4) 1B K.Morales (28) .352wOBA --- 1B M.Napoli (29) .357wOBA
5) LF V.Wells (32) .346wOBA --- DH A.Lind (27) .341wOBA
6) 3B M.Izturis (30) .325wOBA --- 3B E.En'cion (28) .344wOBA
7) SS E.Aybar (27) .305wOBA --- 2B A.Hill (29) .327wOBA
8) CF P.Bourjos (24) .273wOBA --- LF T.Snider (23) .331wOBA
9) C H.Conger (23) .266wOBA --- C J.Arencibia (25) .232wOBA

UT) B.Wood (26) .206wOBA --- J.Rivera (32) .337wOBA
OF) R.Willits (30) .311wOBA --- C.Patterson (31) .305wOBA
IF) A.Callaspo (28) .315wOBA --- J.McDonald (36) .267wOBA
C) C J.Mathis (28) .255wOBA --- J.Molina (36) .273wOBA




SP) D.Haren (30) 3.58fip --- B.Morrow (26) 3.86fip
SP) J.Weaver (28) 3.75fip --- R.Romero (26) 3.95fip
SP) J.Pineiro (32) 4.26fip --- M.Rzep'ski (25) 4.39fip
SP) E.Santana (28) 4.34fip --- B.Cecil (24) 4.51fip
SP) T.Bell (24) 4.03fip --- K.Drabek (23) 4.08fip
SP) S.Kazmir (27) 4.13fip --- J.Litsch (26) 4.81fip

RP) H.Takahashi (36) 2.59fip --- O.Dotel (37) 3.63fip
RP) S.Shields (35) 3.53fip --- J.Frasor (33) 3.73fip
RP) S.Downs (35) 3.58fip --- J.Rauch (32) 3.79fip
RP) K.Jepsen (26) 3.94fip --- C.Janssen (29) 3.81fip
RP) F.Rodney (34) 4.13fip --- C.Villanueva (27) 3.89fip
RP) J.Bulger (32) 4.15fip --- J.Carlson (30) 4.11fip
RP) M.Palmer (32) 4.60fip --- S.Camp (35) 4.20fip
RP) F.Rodriguez (28) 4.64fip --- D.Purcey (29) 3.67fip


oh what a difference a division makes.
TamRa - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 03:41 PM EST (#229277) #
J.P. Ricciardi spent years complaining about a contract he inherited (Carlos Delgado), and he left his successor a contract that was far, far worse....

Well, to be fair - I don't think he was saying Delgado wqas overpaid or under a bad deal (certainly not in the sense Wells is) but rather, that given the budget he was ordered to work under, it was too much tied up on one guy. I read between the lines that he wasn't unhappy with the contract but with the budget (even though he considered himself able to succeed on a small budget at that point)
christaylor - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 04:33 PM EST (#229278) #
Looking at the roster made me think of this: I know he's been absolutely awful, will probably never pan out, but I hope AA at least asked about whether he could add Brandon Wood (for a prospect or cash) in deal. Just a thought... because his name has been tossed around here before.

Then again, maybe AA does have faith that Lawrie will crack the 2011 roster before September.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 04:40 PM EST (#229279) #
Pretty unbelievable financial flexibility starting next year.  D.J. Short's NBCHardball Talk article highlights this very well suggesting the Jays  have only $17.4 in payroll commitment starting in 2012 ((including some buyouts).

Great - we're becoming the Florida Marlins!

I'm getting increasingly worried that these trades are really salary dumps for the sake of trimming the budget as a prelude to selling the team!

Making the GM a "company man" would be the ideal situation in case this is what one is trying to accomplish. I'm not saying 100% this is the case for the Jays & AA, but, I'm starting to hear a little quacking...


bpoz - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 05:32 PM EST (#229282) #
Selling the team is possible. The team looks financially more attractive without V Wells.

IMO the Jays as a contender could increase TV revenues for Rogers. But I don't know how much maybe a 25% viewer increase.

IMO one guy or even a few very good guys cannot carry a baseball team. A Rod could not do it in Texas. If 1 player is earning 20 or 25% of the payroll then there is not much left over for other good players. @ $20mil each V Wells, A Rod, A Pujols, R Halladay & C Lee add up to $100mil which is about as high as the Jays have ever been. This group is probably a contender. For me I would prefer this type of player but at half the cost of each, so that you still have $50mil left to spend of a $100mil payroll on good but even younger players that are a lot cheaper because they cannot yet demand big $.
Championship & playoff teams can generate a lot of revenue in Toronto, but maybe not in Florida.
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 10:57 PM EST (#229290) #
well said, bpoz.

Re vw_fan17: A sellout looks financially feasible. But comparing the current situation to the Montreal Expos scenario when Jeff Loria inherited the 'Xpos, IMO the Jays gather better fan good will support than Loria's futile attempts on getting a new ball park and increasing payroll from broadcast rights. Also IMO the GM is backed by Rogers while the 'Xpos were headed by a ownership group. Given what bpoz have said, which I agree with, the Jays is still a revenue generating asset of Rogers. Last but not least, if the team was to be sold and moved, say to the U.S.., what is the point of having a 4 year contract with a Canadian minor league team to increase the team's Canadian influence? Still I hold the suspicion of Rogers' selling the team without moving it to another city. One could argue that increasing the Canadian aspects within the baseball organization does not bar a sellout, but such notion remains to be proved true in future.

Having said all that, personally I am delighted to see a presence of mind among the cheering and applaud on the internet of unloading Wells' contract: just show a proof of the posters' quality here. (A poke and applaud to webmaster)
williams_5 - Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 11:19 PM EST (#229292) #

Apologies if this was posted before, but I found this interview at least somewhat insightful regarding the Jays' (or at least AA's) outlook with regard to spending.

http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2010/12/06/an-interview-with-alex-anthopoulos/

The key line being "For us, if we can build the foundation of a great team, payroll, attendance and revenue can all climb together. The upside here is massive."

John Northey - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 12:43 AM EST (#229297) #
A fun link is this from Anaheim. It shows word balloons for Angels fans and Blue Jay fans. Easy to tell which is which. It seems many 4 letter words could've been added to the Angels one if the writer didn't mind having his article rated R.
Forkball - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 10:03 AM EST (#229304) #
Torii got a $2.5 million signing bonus; Vernon got a $25.5 million signing bonus over three years.

Vernon's signing bonus might as well have been salary.  The reason it was done that way was to reduce his Canadian taxes.
timpinder - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 11:50 AM EST (#229313) #

Regarding that AA interview, one reason I think that even with a winning team the Jays will struggle to get fans into the stadium is that the stadium is awful.  I haven't been to Roger's Centre in about two years, and I live less than two hours away.  It's not a ballpark; it's an entertainment centre with fake grass in a concrete bowl.  I go to Florida for spring training and Comerica in the regular season to watch baseball.  I would rather watch Jays' games on my TV at home and save on the $30 parking, the traffic jams, and the $8 flavourless North American lagers they serve at Roger's Centre.

Even if the Jays win 95 games, I can't see myself going to Roger's Centre except maybe in the playoffs.  Not until they build a real ballpark, and unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon. 

TJ Caino - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 01:20 PM EST (#229316) #
Ah the stadium isn't that bad. If/when the team is competitive, the fans will come in droves!
jerjapan - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 01:42 PM EST (#229317) #
Ah the stadium isn't that bad. If/when the team is competitive, the fans will come in droves!

I certainly will!  But couldn't they turn down the music, the advertising, and the attitude from the ushers just a little bit?
Flex - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 01:45 PM EST (#229318) #
The music and advertising are certainly obnoxious, but they seem louder partly because the stadium isn't full. When it's full, the fake noise gets ameliorated a bit. And while the stadium isn't cosy or picturesque, it's not a bad place to be when the seats are filled and the roof is open. I have many fond memories of being there.
TJ Caino - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 01:50 PM EST (#229319) #
But couldn't they turn down the music, the advertising, and the attitude from the ushers just a little bit?

Ya those factors may suck.

But I'm going to go down to the ball park, with a couple buddies, have some nice cold 12 dollar beers, and cheer on the Jays. And when the team gets good, I'm going to do it a lot. And the most attitudy usher in the world couldn't put a dent in my enjoyment of doing so.
timpinder - Sunday, January 23 2011 @ 01:54 PM EST (#229320) #
In my opinion, once the Marlins move to their new stadium in 2012, Roger's Centre will be the second worst stadium in the majors, after only Tropicana Field.  I admit though that the lack of spectators and fan participation also takes away from the experience, and more times than not is seems Roger's Centre is at less than half capacity.
JB21 - Monday, January 24 2011 @ 04:57 PM EST (#229344) #
I've been to 19 of the 30 current MLB stadiums (as well as Old Yankee, Tiger, & Exhibition) and yes Rogers Centre isn't my favourite park but it really isn't THAT bad. Sure it's no Fenway or Wrigley, or PNC or Camden, but on a Friday evening in mid Summer when the Dome is open I have no problems taking in a couple hours of my favourite team watching. The new jumbo Dogs are also awesome! And the Beer prices aren't all that great anywhere... Miller Park is tops for Beer prices but it's funny b/c Miller Park reminds me so much of the Rogers Center. Go to Comerica, or down South to watch a couple games in some Outdoor Stadiums, but don't be afraid to take in a couple local games to support your favourite Baseball team.
Jevant - Monday, January 24 2011 @ 04:58 PM EST (#229345) #
I will never bash a player for exercising their right to exercise a term in their contract that resulted in them getting less money when they signed the contract.

I don't think that is a fair thing to criticize Delgado for at all.

timpinder - Monday, January 24 2011 @ 06:12 PM EST (#229346) #
Fair enough.  I used to buy the 10-game flex pack every season and go to a dozen or so games a year, but in 2009 I went once or twice and not at all in 2010.  For me, Comerica isn't much farther and I enjoy the park more, though I try to go when the Jays are there.  Maybe this year I'll go back at Roger's Centre more.  After the debacle that was the 2009 draft I was incredibly annoyed at Jays' ownership and management and decided to boycott the Jays until things changed.  Now that they have, perhaps I start traveling eastbound on the 401 again.
bpoz - Monday, January 24 2011 @ 06:29 PM EST (#229349) #
Timpinder please elaborate on your disappointment with the 2009 draft. I know we did not sign 3 top picks, who could now be knocking on AA ball. That is the easy explanation. Would you be able to add more. IMO we lost big in Barret & Paxton.

We recouped the picks in the 2010 draft but not the lost development time. Also the 2010 draft was made up of extremely young players unlike JP's preference of older players. It remains to be seen which philosophy is more productive.
timpinder - Monday, January 24 2011 @ 08:20 PM EST (#229353) #

My issue with the 2009 draft was that the ML team was stagnant and their farm system depleted.  There was a lot of talk from Jays' management that they were going to rebuild the farm system and spend money in the draft, something they hadn't done in the past (pay out of slot).  Then the draft came and sure enough the Jays drafted some players who they'd have to pay over slot to sign, and they knew that.  I was excited because it looked like they'd finally compete with the likes of the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and the others in the draft, by spending whatever it took to get the best players regardless of cost and what Bud Selig thought.  Then I watched as only 2 of their top 5 picks signed!  As a fan, I was incredibly frustrated to watch them squander valuable picks and essentially skip a draft year. 

Perhaps there were reasons for it (ownership didn't trust Ricciardi to draft, they saw 2010 as a better draft year, etc), but at the time it looked like the Jays' ownership was just being cheap again and was apathetic towards the team and its fans.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 03:44 AM EST (#229364) #

This http://www.battersbox.ca/users.php?mode=profile&uid=9081 covers Rivera.

Jose Bautista will be our 2011 starting 3B http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bautijo02.shtml (he's played enough games at 3B in his career to be good enough).  

The reasons we had, before this trade, for Adam Lind to be the starting 1B in 2011 have not changed.  

I do not believe - Travis Snider breaks out;  Adam Lind get's it back;  Aaron Hill's all back and J.P. Arencibia breaks in - will all happen.   Snider's pre-arb.   Lind's on a very friendly contract and has a record as a good hitter.   Aaron Hill can be a free agent after 2011 if he sucks in Spring Training and the Regular Season.   But...

Mike Napoli was a Super-Two so we control him over the next two years.   This let's us ease J.P. into his role, 60 games this year, 80 games next year, before taking over as #1.   If Arencibia is better he plays more.   One more reasons is Carlos Perez, Travis d'Arnaud, A.J.Jimenez, Santiago Nessy and others get two more years to develop before major decisions need to be made.

Where does that leave Jose Molina?   5 Starters (Romero, Morrow, Cecil and 2 of Litsch, Rzepczynski and Drabek), 7 Relievers (Rauch, Dotel, Purcey, Villanueva and 3 of Camp, Frasor,Janssen, Carlson,Mills and Ray), 3 Outfielders( Snider, Davis and Rivera), 6 Infielders (Lind, Hill, Escobar,Bautista, Napoli and Encarnacion) leaves only 4 spots for the Bench.   John McDonald takes the first space.   J.P.Arencibia takes another.   A 4th Outfielder is needed (who can play CF).   Another infielder who can play, at least, 2B and SS is needed.   That equals 25.   Jose Molina is in AAA or he's released.   And Eric Chavez is somewhere else.

TamRa - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 03:50 AM EST (#229365) #
Timpinder please elaborate on your disappointment with the 2009 draft. I know we did not sign 3 top picks, who could now be knocking on AA ball. That is the easy explanation. Would you be able to add more. IMO we lost big in Barret & Paxton.

In fairness, I'm gonna have to see Barrett and Paxton have some professional success before i'm going to sign on to the "we lost big" hypothesis. It would be easier to argue that we "lost big" by not drafting some other player taken lower.

In the end though, I'm gonna focus on the fact that they over-aid (per slot) to get Marisnick, Hobson, Hutchison, and Webb (at least) and a couple of those guys might well turn out to be excellent investments.

I'd feel worse about losing Paxton if Paxton was kicking ass in AA for the Mariners right now but...he's not.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 11:08 AM EST (#229381) #


The reasons we had, before this trade, for Adam Lind to be the starting 1B in 2011 have not changed. 


I think they have changed significantly, personally.

1) We now have an open RF position, with RF being by far Bautista's best position.
2) Our only other RF candidate is Rivera, who is signficantly subpar defensively at that position, and probably not as good a hitter as Encarnacion.
3) Napoli is most likely our best candidate for 1B defensively speaking.

I don't think there's any need or even any benefit to playing Lind at 1B at all. He's never going to have any defensive value, for us or in a trade, so there's no use us hurting ourselves to put him there.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 02:21 PM EST (#229401) #
Where does that leave Jose Molina? [...] leaves only 4 spots for the Bench.   John McDonald takes the first space.   J.P.Arencibia takes another.   A 4th Outfielder is needed (who can play CF).   Another infielder who can play, at least, 2B and SS is needed.   That equals 25.   Jose Molina is in AAA or he's released.   And Eric Chavez is somewhere else.

4 bench and post AAA players (Molina, McCoy, Patterson, Budde) fight for the 2 remaining spots on the season opening roster. The other two could be the first call-ups if any changes on roster.


Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 03:28 PM EST (#229409) #

Per Jamey newberg a minute ago:

The Blue Jays will reportedly send Mike Napoli to the Rangers for Frankie Francisco, according to a tweet just posted by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Matthew E - Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 03:34 PM EST (#229411) #
Why would the Jays make such a trade? Nothing against Francisco, but isn't Napoli more useful to them than another reliever?
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