One of the issues facing teams in the court of public opinion is that the media often represents ideas and thoughts as legitimate rumors, or suggests outlandish trades as legitimate possibilities. That is why you will still get Yankees fans who claim the Yankees could have gotten Santana for Kennedy and Melky, or believe that the Yankees were unwilling to trade Hideki Matsui for Tim Lincecum. For our latest example of this fallacy, I present the following gem
from Anthony Rieber:
Flex their financial muscle.
Make the Blue Jays an offer only they can make, not by offering money but by taking money – a lot of it – off Toronto’s hands. See whether the Jays’ desire to save cash is more powerful than their desire to save face with their hockey-loving, Labatt-swilling, bacon-eating fan base.
Tell the Blue Jays they’ll take Vernon Wells and his mega- contract in addition to Halladay. Wells, 30, is due nearly $110 million through 2014 and is not worth it, not that anyone is.
Still, he’s one of the top five centerfielders in baseball and way better than either Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera. He has a no-trade clause and can opt out of the deal after 2011. He would be crazy to since he’s guaranteed $21 million a season after that.
What do the Yankees offer Toronto in terms of players? Gardner or Cabrera, Ramiro Pena, a couple of lower-level pitching prospects, nothing more. Remember what the Mets got Santana for? And they didn’t take back a second big contract.
That may be the most ridiculous thing I have read in a long time. Firstly, Vernon Wells is so far from being one of the top 5 CF’ers in baseball it is ridiculous. He has been worse than both Melky and Gardner thus far in 2009,
and has shown no signs of improvement. He is also weaker than both in the field. Fangraphs had the following to say about Wells last week:
Vernon Wells contract is awful. He’s owed $12.5 million next year, $23 million in 2011, and then $21 million per season from 2012-2014. He’s locked up for five years after this one for the price of $97 million. Since the beginning of 2007, Wells has earned a grand total of +1.2 wins in 1,488 plate appearances, or about +0.5 wins per season. Yech. $20 million a year for a guy with a league average bat and defense that belongs in LF/RF? That might be the worst contract in baseball. He’s giving Barry Zito a run for his money, at the very least. The Wells extension has been nothing short of a total disaster.
The Yankees are almost certainly not taking Vernon Wells. However, even if they did, the package that Rieber listed is laughable to the point of absurdity. The Jays need more than financial flexibility in a trade for Halladay. There is no way they are going to trade the best pitcher in franchise history for Melky, Pena, and some trash. The fact that the Yankees are in their division makes it even more preposterous. No deal will be made without giving up one of Joba, Hughes, or Montero, plus some other high ceiling prospects. That “plus” may be impacted by a club taking on a bad contract such as that of Wells. However, in about 2-3 years, we will be hearing about the time Brian Cashman could have gotten Roy Halladay for Melky, if only he would have taken former All-Star Vernon Wells.
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