Friday, January 21, 2011

An untradeable player has been traded

In each of the last two seasons I have included Vernon Wells in one of my How can they trade that untradeable contract? posts.

One for the blog after the 2009 season... one for The Hardball Times after the 2010 season.

Well, it took Adrian Beltre, Carl Crawford and just about every other player in creation to turn down the Angels to do it... but the Blue Jays found a suitor.

Vernon is heading to Los Angeles.
And then drive about an hour south and wind up in Anaheim. But let's for the sake of argument call it Los Angeles.

I personally think it is a terrific move for the Angels.
Wells is a stand up guy with talent. And he should fit in well with the organization and the lineup.

Please spare us all the indignity of breaking down his play and his WAR, VORP and OPS+. That's not what this move is about.

As I wrote before, this is about a change going to do him good.
He signed that gigantic contract to stay in Toronto. And it became his legacy and identity.

He even had to wear the hairshirt and indignity of having to admit he wasn't worth the contract.

It was time for a change of scenery. As much as he clearly loved Toronto, and as much as I thought him having a Todd Helton moment would have been super cool, he had to go.

I had him for two years in a row going to the Cubs. I thought the natural surface and a fresh start with a fan base would be ideal. But now he is off to a model organization with a good pitching staff, Kendry Morales should be back and no doubt Torii Hunter will welcome him with open arms.

He'll be playing for a potential Hall of Fame manager and will no doubt be in a pennant race.

And he won't have the constant reminder that his contract his too big.

Can you say "relaxed"? Can you "rejuvenated"? Can you say "big season for a guy who actually made the All Star team in 2010"?

Not bad for an untradeable player.

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