"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Even the Best Laid Plans…Blow the F*** Up

Well, sometimes you make a plan and while it might not be popular, you stick by the plan, you lay low, and then…you blow it all up. The Angels have been criticized this winter for not doing enough, but last night they went out and traded for Vernon Wells. Not just that, they are picking up the rest of his seemingly unmovable contract. MLB Trade Rumors collects some reactions to the deal; Hardball Talk has more.

What was it P.T. Barnum was supposed to have said?

Closer to home, old pals Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez have agreed to join the Rays. At least it’ll be fun to see them around more often this season.


1 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Look out for these sounds out of LA and Tampa around the All-Star Break...

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 22, 2011 12:47 pm

Gut instinct is that we've seen the best of Wells too. This can be real ugly.

3 The Mick536   ~  Jan 22, 2011 3:39 pm

Must be a lot we don't know about. I can understand Toronto's joy. I cannot see any for either the Rays or Halos. Maybe someone owed someone something.

4 Raf   ~  Jan 22, 2011 3:48 pm

[3] Manny should be an upgrade @ DH, Damon in theory should allow Desmond Jennings more time to develop @ AAA. If he's ready or needs to be platooned, Damon can platoon with him. Damon also can back up all 3 OF positions, and play a little 1B if needed. You know how Maddon likes flexibility with the roster.

5 The Mick536   ~  Jan 22, 2011 4:51 pm

[3] Practically speaking, you be hitting solidly and squarely. Reference to Jennings I had not considered. No harder player than JD. He doesn't have an arm, which Carl had. Manny, I am not so sure of. He has been oft injured and, though some have said what a wonderful person he can be in the dugout (not Mr. Rentiriera), he is a jerk. The Rays have lost some heavy duty talent.

And, stupid me again, I really like the Blue Jays. Napoli hit 26 last year. 35 this year?

6 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jan 22, 2011 6:42 pm

Great deals for the Rays and superb deal for the B Jays! WTF are the Angels doing??

7 vockins   ~  Jan 22, 2011 9:03 pm

Jays without the albatross are dangerous. The 2011 Yanks are looking grim.

8 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 22, 2011 10:40 pm

The Angels have been killed for this deal, but when healthy, Wells has been around a $15 million player. Although the Angels owe $86 million over the next four years, when you subtract the $5 million in cash being exchanged as well as the $11 million for Napoli and Rivera, the annual price tag is about $17 million. Is that still too much? Definitely, but if Wells can come close to repeating his 2010 rebound than it really isn't such a bad deal after all. Also, an added benefit would be that when Wells' contract expires in 2014, the Angels wont be paying Carl Crawford $20 million for the next three years.

9 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 23, 2011 8:58 am

The feel in Toronto seems to be, 'We traded Vernon Wells' contract!! AND Vernon Wells.' He's had some boos over the injury years right after the deal, but has always been a class act. On the other hand he's hugely overrated defensively the last while (so is Torii) and the money over 4 years was a brutal limit on the Jays room to do things (including a deal for Bautista, which should now happen quickly). That money will now hurt the Angels too. Even if someone doesn't like Crawford better (William doesn't, I see) there are a lot of ballplayers 23 million would buy you.

Napoli in Toronto is a puzzle in a way. 6 million isn't chump change. There is very little room for him long term. Either at first or catcher or DH. He either goes one year on his one year deal, helps Arencibia break in, or gets traded halfway to a team that needs a DH/1st base/C upgrade for the pennant race. He can hit a lot of homers in Toronto, though. Rivera is also just a one year deal, he may be motivated in a big way for a bounce back year, and try for a 2-3 year contract next year somewhere (unlikely?) but room is tight for him, too. If Jays do like him in left, Bautista is back to 3rd base. If both the new guys play, and do decently, Jays hit even MORE homers next year. Basically I think this is an expiring-contracts pickup. I'll guess another trade is coming there. And WHY does Scoscia like Mathis so much? Are the ERA numbers that much better with him - I've never looked - because his bat is just awful.

I like Tampa's two signings. A hint of the desperate about them, with so many losses, but this is smaller-market baseball, and Manny is dirt-cheap.

Yes, Yankees need a starter. Somehow, somewhere. They may need two starters. Or else Ivan the Terrible needs to become a real MLB pitcher ... fast.

10 monkeypants   ~  Jan 23, 2011 9:40 am

8) yep..it all depends on which vernon wells the angels get. So it may yet work out ok for the LAAOA. In any case, it was a great deal for Toronto, which looks to be crawling out from the pit overrated JP buried them in.

9) napoli is a great fit for Toronto. I mean, surely any team can find room for a playwr who can hit and play some C. while 6 million isn't nothing, that is the price for dumping the well albatross.

11 monkeypants   ~  Jan 23, 2011 9:44 am

10) wells albatross.

12 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 23, 2011 12:12 pm

Throw the albatross down the well?

But remember it is bad luck to shoot an albatross (ob ref Coleridge).

Napoli may be a one year fit, but they signed a Molina (ours!) to back up the kid already ... if Arencibia is a dud, then Napoli may get another contract. They have big hopes for Arencibia, though.

13 monkeypants   ~  Jan 23, 2011 1:06 pm

12) sure hey signed Molina to back him up, but then they fell into Napoli. Napoli > Molina. Solution = dump Molina. Moreover, worrying about where players fit years down the road. These things seem to work themselves. For too long the Yankees have hurt themselves, in my opinion, by carrying weaker players with fixed roles (Pena = occasional defensive replacement middle infield guy), and then are caught scrambling when inevitable injuries occur.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 23, 2011 2:11 pm

I am no scout, but my impression of Napoli behind the plate is he is a major liability. Of course, that could be biased by the time in 2009 ALCS when Mick Kelleher order Gardner to steal regardless of jump because "we want to fun on this bleeping guy", but it also seems as if Sciosca feels the same way.

So, if his glove is not good enough to catch, and his bat not good enough to play 1B, Napoli kind of stands out as one of those players who can almost cause more trouble than he is worth. Ideally, he'd be a jack of all trades guy, but if the Jays plan on using him as either an everyday catcher or 1B, I think they could wind up suffering for it.

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