MLB Hot Stove: Los Angeles Angels Land Vernon Wells in Blockbuster Trade
On Friday the Los Angeles Angels landed former All-Star center fielder, Vernon Wells, in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays will receive catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera, both of whom have only one year left on their current deals.
Wells will be waiving his no-trade clause with Toronto as the Angels will be forced to pay him an owed $86 million over the course of the next four seasons.
After other attempts at landing key free agents this offseason, the Angels have now successfully compiled one of the best starting outfield lineups in the major leagues with former All-Star Tori Hunter in right field and Bobby Abreu in left.
In 2010, Wells played in a total of 157 games and had a batting average of .273.
Wells took much criticism from the Canadian media in recent seasons as his power numbers took a significant decline from 2007 to 2009.
Wells' 31 home runs in 2010 was his third-highest career total since he was called up to the majors in 1999. Wells also had a total of 41 doubles, which was his second-highest career total behind his 49 double season in 2003.
Toronto now opens some significant cap room heading into the upcoming season(s) as it seems that the Jays are now entering a total rebuilding phase and looking to unload their highest contracts.
The key to Wells' success within Los Angeles will be his ability to now build on a very successful 2010 season as well as his ability to fit into his new role in the middle of possibly one of the best lineups in all of baseball.
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