Vernon Wells Trade : Alex Anthopolous' Genius Plan to Contend in 2012

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Vernon Wells Trade : Alex Anthopolous' Genius Plan to Contend in 2012
Alex Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston

The Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a shocker of a trade today when they dealt away long time Blue Jay and severely overpaid center fielder Vernon Wells to Anaheim for catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli and right fielder Juan Rivera.

Wells had four years and $86 million remaining on his contract, and while we are not yet aware of the exact amount of that the Jays are eating, it is being reported that it will be approximately $5 million. 

Thus they are left with increased salary flexibility going into 2012, an additional $20 million when they are expected to make an aggressive attempt at contending. 

As of today, the Jays are committed to only $16 million in 2012. This trade will not only allow them the opportunity to sign Jose Bautista to a mutually beneficial multi-year deal, but it also allows the Jays to acquire a couple of elite players going into 2012 and make a push to contend with the big boys.

It is widely expected that Major League Baseball will add one playoff team per league in 2012, the perfect time for the Jays to go hard after the prize.

Alex Anthopoulos has done it again, that is, he's made another move that his predecesor J.P. Ricciardi would not have been able to complete. Blue Jays fans, it's time to get excited again as Paul Beeston appears to be, dare I say, helping to mould the next Pat Gillick out of his very own clay.

Here's a look at what the Jays roster could potentially look like in 2012, when they are poised to make a push for a title.

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