January 25, 2011

I'm all in on Wells

It appears that the baseball experts, columnists, pundits and assorted fans are up in arms regarding the recent Vernon Wells acquisition. They’re practically falling over one another to get in line to take their shots. I’ve read or heard phrases like “worst ever," “laughing stock” and even “speechless” used in association with the trade that sent Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera to Toronto for Vernon Wells.

How bad were the reactions? Check out Sam Millers’ blog in the OC Register.

All I can say is good grief. Some of these folks need to take a deep breath and relax. Let the man play some games before going off the deep end.

Vernon Wells is a solid baseball player that happens to have a contract that will over pay him to the tune of $20+ million a year. But let’s focus on the first part of that sentence – Wells is a good player. It seems to me that a lot of people are more concerned about the contract than say... oh, I don't know - those most impacted by it; namely, the Angels and Arte Moreno. Hello?

Here’s the question people should be asking: Is Vernon Wells a good ball player and can he help the Angels? This isn’t multiple choice; it’s yes or no and I think the answer is an astounding yes! You might not agree with me and that’s fine, but I choose to be optimistic about the deal and I don’t think I’m crazy for believing it either.

A lot of assumptions are being made that just don’t make any sense. Some assume that Wells contract will prohibit the Angels from extending guys like Jered Weaver and Kendry Morales. Really? I’d like to know how those making those assumptions came to that conclusion. What kind of insight do they have into the finances of the Angels? Does anyone really believe the Angels don’t want to resign either player and would take steps now to ensure neither one stays in Anaheim?

Sam Miller of the OC Register puts it this way: a) you want your team to win games, b) getting good players helps win games, c) overpaying for good players hurts your chances of getting more good players or better players. So if (C) hurts (B) and (B) promotes (A), then (C) hurts (A). Bad contracts make you sad.

What if Wells helps the Angels get into the post season and beyond, what’s it worth? Can you really put a price tag on it? What if he helps them win a World Series? What’s that worth? What if Wells has an MVP type season? Out of the question? I don’t think so. What if having Wells in the lineup helps Kendry Morales have an MVP type season? Even though I understand the argument about acquiring good players in the future; I’m glad to see my favorite team taking its shot right now. I'll let the Angels worry about what they can and can't afford down the road.

If you want to project doom and gloom, go for it. At the end of the day, the games will still be played. Cliché? You bet – but it’s still true.

Let me also point something else out. Guess how many position players (not pitchers) are signed beyond 2012?

Bobby Abreu? Nope. Torii Hunter? No again. I’ll tell you. Just Vernon Wells. Some of the rest will be eligible for salary arbitration but that group isn’t necessarily impressive. It includes Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar, Jeff Mathis, etc. The lone stud in the group is Kendry Morales.

In fact, if we include pitchers signed beyond 2012 – the only guys signed beyond next year are Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi. Dan Haren and Ervin Santana have club options for 2013.

So… how exactly is Vernon Wells’ contract going to handicap the Angels? A lot of salary will be coming off the Angels books in the near future.

Besides, the team could look completely different in 2014 when Wells’ contract runs out. And… Wells will only be 35 in his final year; not 38 or older like some who recently signed long term deals in this off season. No matter how I look at it, I like it. I like it a lot.

In fact, I love this acquisition. Someone please tell me when the Vernon Wells t-shirts are in the team store and I’ll run down and buy one for Cheryl and myself. I’m betting that Wells thrives in Anaheim. Check out the piece by John Morosi of Fox Sports. You’ll see that a lot of Wells’ former teammates agree with that idea.

I can’t wait to see Wells in Anaheim. Heck, I can’t wait to see him Tempe. I'm all in on Vernon Wells.

Look, all the pundits out there are just trying to make a living. I understand they have their opinions, but what if we held them to the same performance standards as they hold the players to?

What am I talking about?

The pundits are wrong a lot. We’ve had nine different champions in the last eleven years. In a lot of those cases, no one saw them coming. The Diamondbacks in 2001, the Angels in 2002, Marlins in 2003, etc., etc. and even the Giants in 2010.

I’ll take it a step further – even as the play-offs unfold – most of the pundits still get it wrong when they only have to pick among eight teams. That should give everyone some hope.

I mean I’ll go out on a limb right now and say that we will not see a Red Sox/Phillies World Series in 2011. I know they look like the early favorites, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet the field over those two every time.

Let’s just say that these experts have a lousy batting average. I'd really like to show up at some of the places of work and boo them as they write some of the garbage they spew. Just saying

By the way... new developments in the Napoli to Toronto deal.... Napoli has since been traded from Toronto to Texas. Yeah, that's right.... Texas. One more reason to hate the Rangers, don't you think?

In any case - the good news is that if Mike Napoli is as bad as Mike Scioscia seems to think he is, he'll really do a number on the Rangers' pitching staff. Again, just saying.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, Grichy. They just picked up an OF better than Jayson Werth for fewer years and money. And dumped the one-dimensional Napoli. Seems like plusses all around.