Found November 07, 2012 on Monkey with a Halo:
Vernon Wells is a problem for the Angels.  That isn't up for debate.  He is one of the highest paid players in baseball but performs just above replacement level, and that might be a generous description.  No, the question is just how big of a problem Wells is for the Angels, in practical terms. What we've already heard several times from reporters, columnists and bloggers this off-season is a statement along the lines of "if not for Vernon Wells, the Angels could've brought back Torii Hunter."  That same line has been regurgitated at a lesser frequency when pertaining to Dan Haren and even Ervin Santana, too.  That makes for an easy narrative since flogging for the Halos for the Wells trade is practically reflexive at this point.  It just isn't particularly true, which is what I am referring to when I reference "practical terms." The idea they want us to believe is that if the Angels could just get out from all or most of Wells' contract, they could've brought those players back.  I'll concede that it might've made it easier to bring any of those three back had his salary somehow vanished, but it doesn't mean that they would be back.  At a conservative estimation, the Angels have about $35 million to spend this off-season.  Even if you assume that Zack Greinke eats up $20 million of that, that still leaves $15 million.  That's plenty of money to bring back Haren, Hunter or Santana... if they Angels wanted to, and at this point it seems pretty clear that they do not have that interest.  That really makes Wells more of a nuisance than an actual problem. That is really the thing about Wells and his contract, it is only a problem if you foolishly believe that the Angels can somehow get out from a significant portion of his deal.  There just is no way that is going to happen... ever.  Or as Taylor Swift would say never, ever, ever, ever.  At best, the Angels will escape three of four million of the $42 million they still owe him over the next two years, which is enough money to land a fringy veteran reliever.  Yay.  So once you make peace with the fact that Wells is a sunk cost, you'll realize that his contract isn't so much a problem as an unfortunate fact of life. Even on the field, the plague that is Vernon Wells is overblown.  Or at least it should be.  Yes, Wells has been pretty bad, but it turns out that there is an easy fix for that.  Don't play him.  That's it.  Just don't use him very much.  Again, this seems to be the Angels' plan as they have said in no uncertain terms that their full-time outfield will be Trout-Bourjos-Trumbo.  This isn't 2010 when Wells held a starting job.  This isn't 2011 when Wells entered the season in a part-time role.  2012 will be much different, at least as of right now, because Wells is expected to be used strictly as a reserve. As a reserve, he's fine.  He is a strong defender in the corner outfield spots, he can still produce decently against lefties and he does have good power in his bat.  Sure, he can't get on base worth a damn but that.  So long as he sticks to spot duty, that's more than fine.  That just isn't a guarantee. After all, with a simple injury to one of the starting outfielders or even Pujols or Morales, then suddenly Wells is back in the lineup, which would be unfortunate. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, especially if the Angels platoon him with someone like Kole Calhoun.  There is also the small matter of Mike Scioscia being prominently involved in keeping Wells on the pine.  Given his predilection for veterans, that could get messy at times. The simple solution that people have suggested countless time is to just release Wells.  That would definitely remove the odds that he gets conscripted into a starting role, but it would also unnecessarily deprive the Angels of a perfectly useful reserve outfielder and force them to spend money and/or prospects to replace him.  Releasing him would be creating a tiny problem for the sake of excising a player who really is just a small problem. I'm not saying you have to like Vernon Wells being on the team.  I'm not saying it is a good thing.  I'm just saying when it comes to problems on the roster, Wells is far from the biggest as much as we might like to pretend that he is. [follow]
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

All Good Things Must Come to an End

By Brian Waller - AngelsWin.com Columnist All good things must come to an end, and it appears as though fan favorite Torii Hunter’s days in a Halo’s uniform have come to an end; with the door only slightly cracked for the mayor of “Toriitown” to return. After signing a 5 year $90-million deal with the Angels on November 22, 2007 Hunter seemed like the perfect fit for...

Mike Trout Introduces Parents to Twitter, Urges Followers to Follow Them

Mike Trout isn’t afraid of his parents embarrassing him in public. That means social media. The Angels outfielder welcomed both of his parents to Twitter and urged his followers to follow them. Welcome my parents to twitter land !!! @debbietrout27 @jeffreytrout !! #FOLLOW — Mike Trout (@Trouty20) November 5, 2012 Fortunately for Trout –– who is likely to be the Rookie of...

Haren: 'medical issues' did not doom trade

Dan Haren took exception to a Chicago Sun-Times report that medical issues led to the Cubs pulling out of a trade that would have sent closer Carlos Marmol to the Angels for Haren last Friday. The Angels subsequently declined Harens 15.5-million option for 2013, buying it out for 3.5 million, and the veteran right-hander who went 12-13 with a 4.33 earned-run average last season...

How screwed are the Angels if they lose Zack Greinke?

Screwed. Boned. Dead in the water. Up a creek. In deep doo-doo. Totally f#&ked. However you want to phrase it, for the Angels, life without Zack Greinke doesn't look particularly appealing.  They gave away most of the best parts of their farm system to get him and their entire off-season plan is centered entirely around the Halos bringing him back...

Halo Headlines: Trout and Weaver finalists for BBWAA awards, Greinke wants $150 million, Angels ...

The November 8th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Trout and Weaver finalists for BBWAA awards, Greinke wants $150 million, Angels hire international scouting director and much more... The Story: Mike Trout was named a finalist for AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP while Jered Weaver was named a finalist for the AL Cy Young. The Monkey...

Peter Bourjos: Play him or trade him

The die has been cast.  Jerry Dipoto made his decision and ushered fan-favorite Torii Hunter out the door and into the wilderness of free agency,  In so doing he has also ushered in the Peter Bourjos era... again. A fan-favorite to a much lesser degree, Bourjos appears to have been given back his starting outfield job.  He didn't earn it back, mind you, he was simply gifted...

MLB Network Talks AL MVP - Trout vs. Cabrera

The Cabrera-Trout MVP debate is one of the hottest topics in baseball leading up to next Thursday’s announcement which you can view live on the MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. ET. Former Angels Director of Scouting (now assistant to the Red Sox GM) gave his take on the MVP here. Check out the AL MVP debate from last night’s “Clubhouse Confidential” with Brian Kenny on MLB Network...

And We Have a 2B!

MLBTR reports that the Jays have signed Maicer Izturis (formerly of the Angels) to a 3 year deal worth $10M, with a club option for a 4th year. The reaction in comments I've seen so far seems to be pretty positive about this signing. Just over $3M per year is only a bit more than what the Jays were gonna have to pay Aviles anyways, and Izturis is a pretty similar value to Aviles...

Halo Headlines: Trout wins Players Choice AL Rookie of the Year, considering Haren's health, ...

The November 6th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Trout wins Players Choice AL Rookie of the Year, considering Haren's health, estimating how much money will Greinke get and much more... The Story: Mike Trout named Players Choice AL Rookie of the Year... but nothing else. The Monkey Says: Good gravy, I don't recall there...

Izturis agrees to contract with Jays

Infielder Maicer Izturis became the first major league free agent this offseason to join a new team, agreeing Thursday to a $10 million, three-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto said the deal was for $3 million annually. The team has a $3 million option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout. The 32-year-old hit .256 with 17 steals in 19 tries, two homers and 20 RBI this...

Report: Red Sox Showing Interest in Outfielder Torii Hunter

Torii Hunter may be pushing 40, but the outfielder proved in 2012 that he can still play. Hunter, who turns 38 in July, is drawing interest from the Red Sox, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Hunter hit .313 with an .817 OPS while making $18 million this past season — the final year of a 5-year, $90 million contract with the Halos. As Bradford points out, the 16-year veteran...

Izturis agrees to $10M contract with Blue Jays

Infielder Maicer Izturis became the first major league free agent this offseason to join a new team, agreeing Thursday to a $10 million, three-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto said the deal was for $3 million annually. The team has a $3 million option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout. The 32-year-old hit .256 with 17 steals in 19 tries, two homers and 20 RBIs...

Maicer Izturis Finds New Place to be Perfectly Acceptable

Just last season, Maicer Izturis wrapped up a three-year, $10-million contract. On Thursday, Maicer Izturis signed a three-year, $9-million contract. There’s also a fourth-year option — worth $3 million — for one of the very newest Toronto Blue Jays. Maybe that isn’t enough of a hook. Maybe this will make for a better hook. It’s the first multiyear contract that Anthopoulos...

Halo Headlines: Red Sox to pursue Hunter, Angels have scounted Japanese closer Fujikawa, more ...

The November 7th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Red Sox to pursue Hunter, Angels have scounted Japanese closer Fujikawa, more concerns about Haren's back and much more... The Story: The Boston Red Sox are expected to pursue Torii Hunter. The Monkey Says: I have a hard time seeing him land there just because I think he wants...
Angels News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.