It was a nice treat for Rangers fans last winter when the Angels pulled the trigger on a baffling trade sending catcher/designated hitter Mike Napoli to Toronto along with Juan Rivera to acquire Vernon Wells. The same Vernon Wells who is signed to one of the worst contracts in the entire sport. Wells is earning a cool $23 million this season - with Toronto kicking in five million, to be fair - and will earn $21 million in each season through 2014. For the next three seasons, the Angels will be solely on the hook for Wells' contract.
Wells has performed just about how everybody outside of Anaheim's front office would have expected him to perform this season: hitting .204/.236/.369 through 402 plate appearances. Wells' WAR, amazingly, is -0.2. According to fangraphs, Wells has been the 10th worst everyday player in the big leagues this season. Quite impressive.
On the other hand, there's Mike Napoli, the guy the Angels traded away for Wells...who the Rangers, of course, acquired from the Blue Jays not even a week after the Angels sent him to Canada.
Napoli has been nothing short of fantastic for Texas this season, hitting .293/.379/.581, with a wOBA of .418 with 21 homers in just 315 plate appearances. Not shockingly, Napoli already has posted a career high in WAR with 3.6 - and we're still only in August.
While Wells earns a cool $23 million this season, Napoli will earn a meager $5.8 million. But it's ok, since Tony Reagins finds Wells' four-year contract to be tolerable.
"Vernon is a player we have admired for some time. He is a tremendous person and the type of player that will impact our club immediately, both on offense and defense."
Wells is certainly making an immediate impact, helping the Rangers maintain their AL West lead by being on Los Angeles' active roster.
But hey, at least Mike Scioscia got that base clogging hack Napoli off of his team.