Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We're Rooting For You Vernon

There is no denying that Vernon Wells was given an absurd amount of money (7 years/$126 million) from former Blue Jays G.M. JP Ricciardi, but no one can blame him for accepting the deal. Hopefully he is not the type of player to take the money and relax like so many players have done before.

If Vernon is unable to show his old-form, the contract could become (and probably already is) an albatross which will stick with the club for years to come. When the deal was done the feeling was that it was a large investment, but one that showed the organizations committment to winning. There were suitors for his services in trade (Texas Rangers) because he was one year away from free agency and had proved to be a top centerfielder in the game. For a recap of reactions to the mega-deal you can check out this old post by MLB Trade Rumors.  

Here is a video that gives the thoughts of ESPN's Peter Gammons shortly after it was completed:

I only bring up the reaction to remind some forgetful fans of what this guy was and hopefully still could be. His offence has dropped off and his defence, according to UZR/150 (-18.7), has declined as well. 

The title of the post really does say it all. Last year the fans really got on Wells for his struggles and they were well founded a lot of the time. If the Jays have any hope at getting some bang for their buck, though, then they better hope he can bounceback this season. I want Vernon to succeed because he seems like a genuine guy that can really help the organization when he is playing to his capabilities.

His head seems to be in the right place this spring, for whatever that is worth and his body would presumably be at 100% after two straight years of nagging injuries. 

Cito Gaston, rightly or wrongly, has penciled Vernon into the clean-up spot where he will have every opportunity to hit 20 homers and drive in 85 runs.   

Will Vernon Leave the Jays After this Year?
I found this from an article and I got a little laugh from it:
Wells, 28, said the contract doesn't necessarily mean he'll retire a Blue Jay. The contract is expected to include an opt-out clause.
"It all depends on where my career is," Wells said.
I have a feeling that Vernon will be sticking arnd throught the rest of his deal.

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