Angels get Wells in trade with Jays
The Angels, largely dormant for much of the offseason, have acquired Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells in a blockbuster trade.
The Angels get Wells and send catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera to the Blue Jays.
The addition of Wells, who enjoyed a comeback season in 2010, reduces the sting of a difficult offseason for the Angels, who failed in bids for free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford and third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Wells, 32, is waiving his no-trade clause. The Angels will pay him the owed $86 million he is owed over the next four seasons. The Angels likely would use him in center, with Torii Hunter remaining in right and Bobby Abreu in left.
The Angels had been trying to move Napoli and Rivera, who will earn $5.25 million next season.
The Jays likely would use Napoli as a catcher, first baseman and DH. His arrival likely will preclude them from adding another free-agent hitter.
The Angels also had been talking to free-agent outfielder Scott Podsednik and DH Vladimir Guerrero about one-year contracts. Either is still a possibility. Guerrero would be the DH if signed. If they were to sign Podsednik instead, he would fill the Angels’ need at leadoff and Abreu would likely move to DH.
Wells last season produced his best offensive numbers since 2006, batted .273/.331/.515 last season with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs. He also made the All-Star team, re-establishing himself as one of the best center fielders in the game.
Napoli, 29, requested $6.1 million in arbitration. The Angels offered $5.3 million. The Jays would control him for two more seasons before he became a free agent.
Napoli declined to .238/.316/.468 last season, but hit a career-high 26 home runs in 453 at-bats, getting much of his playing time at first base after Kendry Morales suffered a broken leg.
The Angels prefer Jeff Mathis, a superior defender, at catcher. Bobby Wilson is considered a capable backup, Hank Conger a highly regarded catching prospect.