I have a nagging feeling that this still isn't the end of the Jays' offseason moves. I'm completely bummed about the Manny non-signing (we couldn't front $3M for a 4WAR hitter?!?!?!?), but I'm sure AA is aware of the Napoli/JPA catcher situation. Both are clearly capable catchers, with JPA holding the upside/potential advantage and Napoli being the established commodity with 2 more years of arbitration (FA after 2012 season). The trade has to be called a win for the Jays, since they got the best player in the deal (Napoli - according to fangraphs analysis) while dumping a huge salary commitment.
I have to think that AA is going to be shopping the two of them around and seeing what he can get. JPA probably can command more in trade, but teams with a good prospect in the mid-minors and looking for a boost now would surely want Napoli. Even if we trade JPA, Napoli bridges the gap very nicely while we see what we have in D'Arnaud and Perez.
There is also still the issue of 3B/RF and where does Bautista play. Is Rivera pencilled in as an everyday corner OF now? Does Bautista move to 3B, even though he apparently wants to play RF? What do we do with E5, is he really only playing 1B and DHing? All these questions lead me to believe that the offseason moves haven't ended yet.
Second, and this is probably a case of me looking through rose-coloured glasses but please humour me, does jettisoning Vernon really make the 2011 team appreciably worse? Vernon was good last year (4 fWAR), but had been worth a combined 3 fWAR the previous 3 seasons. I doubt that we could count on 128 wRC+ again from him in 2011. A 5-3-2 weighted projection puts him at 110 wRC+ for next year, still quite good. Shane Victorino put up 111 wRC+ in 2010 and was worth 3.3 oWAR. But Wells' defense is probably also going to regress (same weighting gives him -10.7RAR next year). This quick projection pegs him at somewhere around 2-2.5 WAR in 2011.
If it's true that we are looking at Scott Podsednik and we stick him and Davis as a platoon in CF, as unpalatable as that sounds I figure we can expect around .750 OPS from that combo. Adam Jones had a .767 OPS with a similar fangraphs speed rating to both Davis and Podsednik, which translated to 106 wRC+ last season in a slightly-more-hitter-friendly home-park environment than Toronto (Camden Yards was the 5th best hitter's park in baseball 2010, SkyDome was 8th). So let's put the Pods/Davis' CF combo down for ~105 wRC+ next year. Using the same 5-3-2 weighting as for Wells, Pods' defense projects at -6.1 RAR in LF (maybe -15 in CF) and Davis +1.7. Overall, I'd give the pair somewhere around -8RAR, pretty close to Jones' -5RAR. Jones was worth 2.3 fWAR last year, so the Pods/Davis combo can probably give us ~2 fWAR production next year. That looks pretty similar to the value that AA and the Jays could reasonably have expected from 2011 Vernon. Even ignoring Podsednik, Fangraphs' fan projection system projects Davis alone to be worth 1.7WAR, which would be better than Vernon was in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Alternately, Corey Patterson projects as around a 0RAR CF. He also had a .794 OPS last season versus RHP (though .720 career). If, admittedly a big if, he can be counted on for .750 OPS vs RHP in 2011, such a Patterson/Davis CF combo would provide approximately similar offensive production to 2010 Adam Jonesand be a half-win better in the field. If Patterson can hit RHP even a little bit, he and Davis together could put up 2.5-3 WAR together. I just threw up in my mouth a little, but a platoon CF situation with Davis and Patterson could reasonably be expected to be anywhere from slightly better to only slightly worse than Vernon in 2011.
There are a few clear caveats here. One is that Wells' upside is MUCH higher than Pods/Davis, who could never reach a 4WAR season. Second is that my analysis assumes that fWAR is able to accurately analyze and value defensive contributions, which is still up in the air. Third, I've clearly drunk too much of the AA Kool-Aid. But if we accept regression for Wells as a likelihood given his 2010 production spike and current age, he may not actually be better in 2011 than the Jays' current CF options.