Saturday, December 20, 2008

Zen Dayley: Just in case the Jays trade Vernon

The dread word "financial constraints" appears in this Jon Heyman item about the Blue Jays trading Vernon Wells, the $126-million-dollar man.

It goes against the ass-talker code to add to the echo chamber by commenting on trade possibilities, but what the hell. This seems logical if you believe that Rogers Communications wants to make the Jays more attractive to a potential buyer by shedding payroll (hey, we're the San Diego Padres without close proximity to the beach!). The Jays should have an Adam Lind-Alex Rios-Travis Snider outfield by 2010 and there's plenty of options for the first bash and designated hitter positions.

The big question is how much Wells is going to hit. He OPS'd a very serious .932 after the All-Star break last season, albeit in limited time (189 plate appearances). His biggest comparable, as a 29-year-old player, though, is Reggie Smith, a star in the 1970s who was an absolutely devasting hitter in the era in some exceptional circumstances (Dodger Stadium, mostly).

Defensively, he struggled in centrefield, while Rios, at least by one measure, played the position superbly when circumstances dictated he move over from right. (Disclaimer: One seamhead friend of mine claims he'll never trust any defensive statistic, old school or new school, and he has a point.)

There's not much smoke yet. It goes without saying the Jays only have one untouchable. His name is Roy Halladay. No doubt there's a sizable chunk of Toronto sports fans who are down on Wells, who had a bad season in 2007 and then flew below the radar in 2008 since he was out for two months. He's not a superstar and his contract is a millstone. It would be difficult to move him, but some team.

This that and the other
  • Poz did his homework and came up with some fascinating stuff about walk rates. It's required reading for the baseball flat-earthers.
  • The New York Times classifies Tim Raines among one of the "statistical causes célèbre" among seamheads. It's a point well-taken, since they're arguing for letting Hall of Fame voters have another stab at considering Bobby Grich, Dwight Evans, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker, among others, now that the tools for evaluating them have gained wider acceptance.
  • So much for the Jays bringing in Daniel Cabrera (a former Ottawa Lynx). The right-hander signed with the Nationals.
  • Gut feeling: Manny Ramirez is going to end up with the Yankees. It cannot not happen.
Related:
Blue Jays fielding inquiries about Wells (Jon Heyman, SI.com)

1 comment:

kinger said...

Trading Wells? Has JP pretty well resigned himself to losing his job after this year?