Saturday, January 22, 2011
I don't get it...
So the Angels just pulled off a trade... and it's one that makes no sense to me what-so-ever. They sent catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera to the Blue Jays for outfielder Veron Wells and his remaining $86 million dollar contract (over the next four years).
The Angels made strong bids on free-agents Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre, but lost out on both. Feeling like they needed to do something to keep in step with the American League Champion Texas Rangers in the AL West they seem to have made a panic move that makes little sense.
Wells is a decent centerfielder who had a pretty good stick a few years back and somehow lucked into one of the most bizarre contracts in MLB history. He's lost a step since then and it really better slated as a corner-outfielder now... where of course his lessened offensive numbers make him look WAY overpaid with stats below what you'd expect at those positions.
Napoli only hit .238 last year and his defense is considered a step below average, but it's hard to ignore his power (26 HR in 2010 in 453 at-bats, 20 HR in 2009 in 382 at-bats, 20 HR in 2008 in 227 at-bats). He'll make between $5.5 and $6 million or so in 2011. Rivera's power has all but disapeared, but he will only make $5.25 million in 2011. Both are not long term issues for the Blue Jays to be concerned with and both are more than appetizing when you filter in the fact the Jays are out of that albatross of a contract and will save about %74 million over the next few years.
For the Angels, they get a decent player who seriously bogs down payroll. At face value you have to think that the Blue Jays have to pay SOME of that contact. If not, it's a bizarre move that at the present seems to have hurt the Angels more than help.
Wells is a good guy. There is no question about his make up or his attitude. His 2010 was much better than his sub-average 2009. He hit .273 with 31 HR and 88 RBI with only 86 strike outs. Pretty good numbers, but not worth the $23 million he'll make this year.
The raise in payroll lifts the Angels to about $146 million, pushing them up with the Mets.