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Today in Blue Jays History: The Vernon Wells Trade

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Four years ago today, Alex Anthopoulos managed to trade Vernon Wells, something that I figured was pretty much impossible.

We were:

At the time of the trade, Vernon was owed about $86 million over the next 4 years. His salary was to jump from $15.7 million, in 2010, to $26.1 million in 2011. It really was the perfect moment to trade him.

Vernon played 2 seasons for the Angels, hitting .222/.258/.409 with 36 home runs. After that, they sent him (and a lot of money) on to the Yankees, where he hit .233/.282/.349 with 11 home runs in 2013 and was paid to stay home in 2014.

I'll admit I always liked Wells, he was one of those guys that played full out all the time (he might have been better off to pick his spots), always ran out grounders as hard as he could, did tonnes of charity work, was a good teammate and seemed to like playing in Toronto. It wasn't his fault that the Jays offered him way too much money.  Playing all those seasons on the hard surface at Rogers likely didn't help his career.

In return the Jays got Juan Rivera, who hit .243/.305/.360 in 70 games before the Jays put him on waivers to be claimed by the Dodgers, and Mike Napoli, who we quickly sent on to the Rangers for Frank Francisco. In Alex's defense, if we had kept Napoli, we likely would have lost Edwin Encarnacion.

Dumping Vernon's contract did allow Alex to make the trade with the Marlins, which may not have turned out the way would would have liked, but it did add some excitement to our life's for awhile. I wonder how different things would be now if the Angels didn't go insane for a long enough to make the trade? Would we be better off?