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Vernon Wells presumed gone

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Vernon Wells presumed gone

Postby bdrotoronto » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:53 pm

(copy of post I made to MLB rumours..)

Keith Law reports on his ESPN blog that Wells has told JP Ricciardi flat out he won't return to Toronto after his contract expires after 2007.

I can't access the full article (insider), but the part that's publicly posted follows: link
Let the Vernon Wells watch begin posted: Friday, August 18,

Vernon Wells has told Blue Jays' management that he has no intention of signing a contract extension to stay in Toronto; he and his family would like to move closer to his home in Texas, and he has become increasingly disenchanted in Toronto as he has faced public criticism from general manager J.P. Ricciardi. It hasn't helped matters that the Blue Jays' clubhouse has become one of the least diverse in baseball, with Wells currently the only African-American player on Toronto's 25-man roster.
Wells has one year remaining on the five-year deal he signed in spring training of 2003 and will earn just $5.6 million in 2006, after which he'll be eligible for free agency entering his age-29 season.

Sources around baseball indicate the Blue Jays will explore trading Wells this winter rather than allow a repeat of the Carlos Delgado situation in 2004, when the team was unable to trade the impending free agent due to Delgado's blanket no-trade clause and thus ended up with nothing after Delgado left. While the Blue Jays could play out 2007 and take two draft picks for Wells, they're looking at Wells as the one chip they might be able to play into some help for their beleaguered rotation.

This is the big news on local talk radio tonight. Law used to work as a special advisor with the Jays, so this is presumed to have some credence. In a way this is really not news at all, since a lot of people have seen this coming for miles ever since Ricciardi called Wells out in public about a month ago in Kansas City.

Well hopefully they can get something good for a trade. :-/ I personally have believed there's no way Wells would return for a while now, so better to get something for him while they can in the off-season. Especially when there are so many holes in the pitching staff they need to fill.
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Postby mweir145 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:49 pm

I'll just repost what I wrote on the rumours section:
I can't say I'm surprised about any of this, but the Jays really have to make sure they get full value in any trade that they make. You might as well keep him in 2007 and try to make a run at winning it if you can't get full value.

Also, where were they discussing it on the radio? With Mike Wilner on Jays talk or was it Stormin Norm?

If this gets out among the team and the Toronto media, this team is going to go down the drain really quickly (faster than they already are, and that's saying something). We seriously can't make the playoffs with so much dissension among the team, and that includes next year. Trading him would obviously be the best thing, but if you can't get full value, it's basically like losing him anyway. You might as well try to win in 2007 than just trade for marginal talent.
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Postby mweir145 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:41 am

I've just been thinking about this situation and all this drama within the organization over the past few months. Today might just be be the most negatively I've thought about the Jays organization in years. If what Keith Law is reporting is true, we are losing our franchise player and unless a blockbuster trade is made to bring in a better talent, we're going to lose a lot of value by having him leave. It's almost impossible to get equal value for a player like Wells because of how good he is in relation to his relatively cheap contract. This is a devastating blow for the organization, and it comes a day after we traded our other oldest position player to a division rival for nothing. Hinske even said he was glad to get our of Toronto ( and I don't blame him). Only a month ago, Hillenbrand and our own manager Gibbons nearly got in a fist fight. I remember reading a few quotes of Wells after the incident, and it really seemed like Shea was a friend of his on this team. And then you have the whole Shea-Zaun incident....it's really making me wonder how much dissension there really is in that clubhouse. You can't make the playoffs with this much soap opera drama crap during a season (now I know the Red Sox won a World Series with a bunch of conflicting personalities, but they were able to trade Nomar during the middle of the 2004 season which seemingly solved a lot of problems). The big question is, why did this happen?

The Jays virtually have no choice to trade the guy now that this has gotten out. They can't go in to next year with this looming over the team. This just sucks. And I really don't know who to blame. Gibbons? He's done a subpar job in managing almost every aspect of this team, and it appears that some in the clubhouse may not like him? Ricciardi? I mean what has JP really done in 5 years, where are all our draft picks from the past few years (excluding Hill who has filled in nicely at 2B). We still aren't any closer to winning the division title than when he took over. And do the players actually like him? Those public comments from earlier in the season might be a reason for some of this. Is it a management problem? Do we need more money from Ted Rogers? Maybe I'm just overreacting, and maybe things would look better if atleast a few of our prospects actually proved to be worth something, but things really don't look good for this organization right now. They might be in need of a serious change, but with Gibbons and Ricciardi locked in to long term contracts...I'm not really sure how realistic that possibility really is.
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Postby bdrotoronto » Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:47 am

mweir145 wrote:Also, where were they discussing it on the radio? With Mike Wilner on Jays talk or was it Stormin Norm?

It was on Jays talk, following a pretty feeble loss. They also talked about it a bit on the show that followed, but don't remember who it was (Stormin Norm's on vacation).

I agree with all your analysis. This team is going down quickly now. I increasingly think the blame has to go to JP. He's been given more money to work with, but the team actually seems like it's getting worse now. Solid MLB players are being traded left and right for less than what they're worth (and the Jays end up eating $ too). The team has no apparent depth in the minor leagues to step in for injuries or Towers, and almost all of JP's top draft picks haven't panned out. The best home-grown players the Jays have (Halladay, Wells, Rios) were all from the former regime that he blasted so regularly when he started. And guys like Hillenbrand and Hinske clearly sound happy when they leave. It's been five years now and they've never even gotten close to the playoffs. And there is no apparent plan or vision of how to get anywhere better, they are just totally flying by the seat of their pants now. Heads have to roll after a while. Probably JP has gotten a bit of a free ride the last few years, but I think that is changing.
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Postby flying27 » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:20 pm

I think trading hinske was a big mistake. Wells and Hinske are good friends, Wells was probably upset.
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