Please stay away from Vernon Wells.
According to this tweet by Los Angeles Times reporter Mike DiGiovanna, the Angels might be looking to trade Dan Haren and expand the trade to include Vernon Wells. In return, the Angels would take back old former ace John Lackey.
I'm all for taking a flyer on Dan Haren, but I want no part of Vernon Wells.
To Ben Cherington, Boston Red Sox general manager, please don't make me beg. You have all of this payroll room to play with, goodwill with the manager change and effectively a clean slate this winter and for the 2013 season.
Don't ruin it by taking someone else's albatross contract.
Vernon Wells hasn't been a good player for over two season. The Toronto Blue Jays must feel like they dodged a bullet by signing Wells to a seven-year, $126 million contract in 2008 and then trading him after the 2010 season, right before he fell off of a cliff as a player.
Dan Haren is coming off of a down season, but he has been a solid pitcher for almost his entire major league career. He is even more attractive with only one season remaining on his contract, so the commitment here is minimal. Taking Wells with him, however, would be a hefty tax to pay.
It is easy to be fooled into thinking that all players can be revived with a change in scenery. Sometimes, though, they are just done. Sometimes they have lost their skill set.
Basically, if you ask me who is more likely to help the Red Sox in 2013, John Lackey or Vernon Wells, I think I would look at Lackey as being more likely to rebound. Lackey has been battling injuries; Wells has just been battling his declining skills.
The 33-year-old Wells is due to make $42 million over the next two seasons. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Lackey is scheduled to be making $30.5 million over the next two seasons, and the Red Sox hold an option on Lackey for 2015 for only $500k due to his elbow injury.
Seems like an easy decision to me. Hopefully it is an easy decision for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as well.