Yoda wrote:I'd like to hear what TOR fans have to say. Vernon owns a career OPS+ of 112 (similar to Soriano/Lee) but has a much better glove. I am wondering if they really want him to accept or just show that they are trying.
Oh, and 126M CAD = 109M USD...
That's a very good question. The Jays have always been about media and fan perception when dealing with their players in contract talks, but this actually seems like a legitimate offer. It certainly isn't at all like the lowballing that went on with Escobar and Delgado. The ball is firmly in Vernon's court now, especially since he said only a few weeks ago that he would stay for a contract close to market value (and this is certainly around where he would be getting paid if he was a FA). I don't think anybody surrounding this organization (including Vernon) were expecting the Jays to offer a contract like this, though. Only a few months ago, Ricciardi said he wouldn't offer Beltran money, but things have changed since then (with the large increase in payroll, and the fact they weren't able to sign Lilly or Meche). If Vernon doesn't take this deal, it's an indication that he really doesn't want to be here past next year, and that's when the team has to trade him.
As for whether he's worth it, and whether I actually want him to sign, well those are pretty tough questions too. Obviously you'd rather spend 18-20M on Wells as opposed to two mediocre starters in Lilly and Meche, but quite frankly, Vernon simply isn't that good. He's only really had 2 great offensive seasons (and his great isn't anywhere near the best hitters in the league), and his defense declined last year despite still winning another Gold Glove. IMO, he's hugely overrated around baseball. If the Jays are going to spend roughly 15-20% of their payroll on Vernon Wells, when they have 2 other CF options in Rios and Reed Johnson, I'm not sure it's a very good move at all. 18-20M could probably be spent somewhere else, on a very good marquee talent, or a division of other good players.
On the other hand, Vernon Wells is the face of the franchise (second only to maybe Roy Halladay), and his loss would be a big one for this team. It's a good thing I'm not JP Ricciardi right now.
Anyways, it's always nice to see your team spend this kind of money on your best players, but I think the best case scenario for the team might be for him to not accept this (and I think that's a huge possibility right now), and for the team to trade him for solid value, while spending the money elsewhere. Alex Rios has the chance to be a far better player than Vernon, both offensively and defensively, and I wouldn't be agaisnt giving him the CF role next year.