The Chronicles of Vernon Wells

1:06AM: I just got home from work. Yeah it's Friday night, I know. But you see I work at an airport and it never closes. Like ever. I have been working there for over 10 years on shift, so I am wide awake and looking for some info. And I wanna get drunk.

1:10AM: Where to fucking start. V-Dub has been a Blue Jay his entire life. Drafted 5th overall in 1997. A lot of expectations when you go that high up. I remember him being referred to as having panache when he was in the Minors.

1:14AM: Looks like I need to get a beer.

1:16AM: Gotta say my favorite interview is this one. Funny how he's trashing Aaron Hill who I believe takes over the title as longest serving Blue Jay.

1:21AM: Jeremy over at 500 Level Fan made a solid observation that Tony Fernandez will remain the career games played leader. Vernon would have passed him this season for certain.

1:25AM: Smoke break. Stand by.

1:29AM: Taking a look at those all time Blue Jay records. V-Dub lifetime .280 hitter. Impressive. Considering he leads in at bats. Tony still got him in hits. More impressive.

1:33AM: I still remember like it was yesterday Jerry Howarth saying "It seems like there has been a changing of the guard in centrefield as Vernon Wells has supplanted Jose Cruz Jr." That would have been in 2001.

1:41AM: Need a beer. Almost out of the good stuff.

1:48AM: Just responded to the comments. Sorta. Love you guys for participating.

1:50AM: BJH comes right out with the elephant in the room. Vernon's contract. Widely regarded as THE WORST in baseball and potentially all of pro sports. Check it courtesy of Cot's.
Vernon Wells of
7 years/$126M (2008-14)
  • 7 years/$126M (2008-14)
    • signed extension with Toronto 12/06
    • $25.5M signing bonus ($8.5M payment each March 1, 2008-10)
    • 08:$0.5M, 09:$1.5M, 10:$12.5M,
      11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M
    • full no-trade clause (waived 1/11)
    • Wells may opt out of contract after 2011
    • award bonuses: $0.25M for MVP, $0.2M for WS MVP, $0.15M for LCS MVP, $0.1M for most All-Star votes in league
    • Wells to donate $143,000 annually to Blue Jays charity
    • acquired by LA Angels in trade from Toronto 1/21/11
  • 5 years/$14.7M (2003-07)
    • signed extension with Toronto 3/03
    • $0.85M signing bonus
    • 03:$0.35M, 04:$0.7M, 05:$2.9M, 06:$4.3M, 07:$5.6M
    • award bonuses: $25,000 for All Star selection, $50,000 bonus for Gold Glove
  • drafted by Toronto 1997 (1-5)
  • $1.8M signing bonus
  • agent: Brian Peters
  • ML service: 8.113
1:53 Obviously in the AM

1:54 Vernon Wells won 3 gold gloves in a row. 2004, 2005, 2006 I recognize that.

1:57 I met Vernon. Well as much as you can meet someone in an autograph session. It was the during winter he signed his mammoth deal. Jimmy Triggs scored the invite. I got a ball and my bat signed. I remember that I made a point of congratulating him on his deal. He responded with "Well I'm going to be here for a while". I have to say that at that moment in time I was uber happy with that being the case. As of about 7 hours ago, not so much.

2:06 Uploading some pics. Stand by.

2:11 Zaunie and Gruber before you ask. Zaunie I got at the same autograph session as Vern. Gruber, well that's a whole different story.

2:18 Coors light tastes like water. And fuck the mountains.

2:19 Just looked at something. Check it. Circa 2009. Consider the time.

2:21 While we are at it, I wrote this. Circa 2009. Consider the time.

2:24 I called Vernon fat and bald.

2:25 Just looking at Vernon's contract again. Jesus. I wonder if he has to still donate $143,000 annually to Blue Jays charity. Good question. I'm sure he will.

2:28 Thinking about how he fits in with the Halos. Consider this: Torii Hunter moved to right field for this guy. I say Vernon plays LF. Should help him out quite a bit. That and the natural grass. I sincerely wish him well.

2:32 Starting to be concerned with the beer stock. It's not like I or anybody else knew that Vernon Wells and his immovable contract would be traded today when we got up. #silentassasin Hat tip to the BJH for the nickname. It fits.

2:41 Aren't all assassins silent? I mean it's still a total kick ass nickname for a Major League GM but isn't that part of the job description?

2:43 My hashtag didn't catch on. But I tried. It is important to repent your sins. I think all of us can honestly say we were a little to hard on Vern. Everyone except Navin. May the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System rest in peace.

2:51 Spell check and I are best friends.

2:56 Once upon a time I believed in Vernon Wells. I really, really x 100 did. Check it.

2:58 Wondering how many bombs Vernon hit in the SkyDome.

3:03 Found his splits for 2010. Ugly against lefties.

3:08 Gonna look into the home run at home question. Stand by.

3:15 It must be said that Fangraphs is the shit. Vernon Wells home runs at home:
  • 2010: 21
  • 2009: 8
  • 2008: 11
  • 2007: 8
  • 2006: 24
  • 2005: 14
  • 2004: 14
  • 2003: 13
  • 2002: 10
He also hit a homer in 2001 and 1999. Doesn't look like they happened at home. Therefore his total at his former home is 123.

3:20 Beer #6

3:23 One of the guys I worked with, who is a hockey fan, pointed out that trades don't really happen in the NHL anymore. Not like this. It was an interesting discussion trying to equate this trade in hockey terms. Just a thought.

3:26 I'm gonna miss Vernon. I really am.

3:28 That being said, is there a King or a Prince in our future now.....

3:35 Boy Wonder weighs in. Some people are saying he is the early favorite for executive of the year.

3:39 Kenny breaks the story. Of course he did. That is what he does. What up Span?

3:46 Napoli kills lefties. Wells does not.

3:47 More video. The Angels probably felt like they had to do this deal.

4:01 I had a bunch of shit come to me and then it went away. Stand by.

4:02 It is 4 o'clock in the morning.....

4:03 So I guess Rajai is gonna play CF. I have no issue with that at all. Dare I say it is an upgrade?

4:07 Bautista. My brain sees that video and yeah.....Bautista

4:08 What does this deal mean for Bautista?

4:11 For starters it means he will be the highest paid player on your Toronto Blue Jays 2011 edition whether he wins or loses his arbitration hearing.

4:14 I once traded Juan Rivera and Matt Thornton for Brendan Harris and Joakim Soria in a fantasy baseball league. Just saying.

4:19 I like this deal. Vernon Wells for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli. It was rumored that $5 million went from the Jays to the Angels in the deal. Or not. Does it really matter?

4:25 Check this shit out. Click here. Then here.

4:31 Why the fuck didn't we ask for Brandon Wood as a throw in? Am I the only guy that thinks he needs some steady at bats? Could have been a solution at 3rd base.

4:32 I have started my 2011 Toronto Blue Jay defensive positions depth chart. Kinda lost in the OF without Vernon. I always thought he would eventually end up in RF but now he is gone. Completely gone. His contract, his stranglehold on CF.....I am a little perplexed.

4:35 So this is what I got so far:

CF Rajai
2B Hill
SS Esco

4:37 Yeah that's all I got for sure. Whoa. Mind fuck.

4:42 Looking at the new 40 man roster. That's totally not helping at all. E5 and Lind listed as the DH. Napoli as a catcher and J-Bau still as an OF. Rommie Lewis got DFA'd to make room. Hope he sneaks through waivers, I like him.

4:43 The brain trust just traded Vernon Wells. It's starting to sink in.

4:45 Back to the defensive set up. I like Rivera in LF, Snider in RF, Bautista at 3B and Napoli as the back up catcher.

4:48 I think Adam Lind may be a platoon player next year. E5 and Napoli should be in the line up when anyone who throws with their left hand is pitching.

4:51 Wondering who the 4th OF will be if Bautista plays 3rd.

5:02 Fuck I'm not sure about anything. Expect that it's time for a smoke break.

5:07 Alright. The best thing that I can figure to do is run down the scenarios.

Preferred would be to keep Bautista happy which means right field. Based on that, I got:

RF Bautista
CF Davis
LF Snider
3B Lawrie or E5
SS Esco
2B Hill
1B Lind
C Arencibia
DH E5 if Lawrie makes the team. I hope he does. Napoli if he doesn't.

J Mac
Molina (maybe)

5:16 More likely would be Bautista at 3rd.

5:17 Scenario #2:

RF Snider
CF Davis
LF Rivera
3B Bautista
SS Esco
2B Hill
1B Lind
C Arencibia

J Mac
Patterson or Mastro
Molina (maybe)

5:21 I'm gonna sleep on it. It's getting hard to think and type.


  1. That interview is amazing. That's what I'll miss about Vernon. The contract sucked and he could be maddening on the field, but off of it, the dude was hilarious. His interviews with Cabbie are classic.

  2. Boy Wonder is amazing. He trades a declining talent, coming off a good year, with $86 million left on the contract, for 2 serviceable players. That's like trading a shortstop you picked up for nothing for a young short stop coming off a down year... wait he did that. Actually it's like picking up an organizations #1 prospect for a middle of the rotation starter who happened to be your #1 by default. Wait, he did that too....

  3. I didn't dig my boots into Vernon Wells' couch...yeah, I dug my boots into Vernon Wells' couch...cocaine's a helluva drug

  4. Can't say enough good things about Vernon and his contributions to the Blue Jays. But that $86 million is way too heavy a burden to carry on this rebuilding team. AA definitely "fleeced" the Angels, as you guys would say!

  5. What's funny is that the deal is so back-loaded that the Jays got Vernon for 3yr/$40-million. That's still not great, but it looks a whole lot better than what the Angels will pay (4yr/$86-million).

  6. I was a fan of Vernon, just not his contract. What AA has done is bought the Jays some much needed financial wiggle room in a couple years when we may need it. When all the young guys we've been stockpiling come together the Jays can go out and add a piece to get them over the hump. What's more amazing to me is that AA makes these deals and NOBODY knows about them until they're done. I mean, did anyone wake up this morning and think Wells would not be a Jay by 11pm????

  7. 2:24: Well he was. He did trim quite a bit of weight though

  8. 8 beers in 4 and a half hours. Mission accomplished. I'm looking toward the future instead of dwelling on the past. You should be too.

  9. Imagine what could be done with the extra 13 million or so from the wells contract. Also, for some reason I have a feeling AA will either flip 1 or both of these guys before the season starts or more likely, at the trade deadline for someone looking for a cheap option for playoff support. The more preferable piece to move is Rivera ( 32 and defensive liability), but I think Napoli has more trade value (ex. the rays were interested in him, but to little to late). Also realise that this opens the door much earliar for Gose, I could see him arrive in 2012 now. OF core of Gose, Snider, and Davis. To bad such a trade could not have been made years earliar, for it would have given the jays the cash to keep guys like Rios around.But I digress. Now they need to sort out the 3b problem fast, so that Bautista can play in the field and not 3b. If this means doing the unthinkable and moving E5 3b so be it(Note I like him Platoon 1b/dh with Lind, but Bautista needs to play the field, without wells, cause with Snyder and Rivera in the field this becomes a defensive liability for a young rotation in need of strong defense. Thus, watch for the jays to make a move again before the season starts.

  10. ...keen observation from the hockey fan. hmmmm

  11. Awesome post. Get some sleep...

  12. I'd rather see this:

    C: Arencibia/Molina
    1B: Lind/Napoli platoon
    2B: Hill
    3B: Bautista
    SS: Escobar
    LF: Snider
    CF: Davis
    RF: Rivera
    DH: E5/E3


    Mastro or Patterson or McCoy (?)

    All of this of course assumes the Jedi Ninja GM master doesn't stealthily strike again before the start of the season and shake things up again. While it may not be ideal to have Bautista at 3B, but he's probably the best 3B on the roster. Rivera has an absolute hose for an arm if we can trust the advanced fielding metrics that have come in over the past decade, so I'd stick him in RF, with Snider and his average arm in LF. Obviously both Rivera and Davis would probably be better suited to being backups rather than starters, and of course if Patterson makes it, he should only be used as a pinch runner and a defensive replacement. I also don't want to see Napoli behind the plate too much. I'd rather see him in a 1B/DH/PH role. If we can believe 70 or so games at 1B (count me as a skeptic here - small sample size alert - big time), Napoli is actually a pretty decent defender there, far better than he is at catcher. Molina has a great arm, but is a bit sluggish in the passed ball department. McDonald can do his usual 2B/3B/SS stellar defense/not so stellar bat routine. If Mastro makes it, you definitely work him in more than if it's Patterson. If McCoy makes it, he can be the super utility guy.

    I think there are still moves to come though, but I gave up trying to outguess AA a long time ago.

  13. One of the few times I saw Vernon in action, in person, was a preseason game in Philadelphia (in '09 I think).

    Fans in left-centerfield were getting on Vernon and he turned to gave it back. It was a fun scene to watch and you could see the crowd laughing and loving the exchanges and Vernon could be seen smiling too.

  14. I would like to point out that I was when I said wait and see the jays flip these two players. mlbtraderumors is reporting Napoli has been traded for Frank Francisco.