It was like it just happened yesterday when I got a call from my best friend telling me the greatest Blue Jays news I had heard in a long time. 2 years ago, on January 21, 2011, Vernon Wells had been traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. I couldn't believe it. Alex Anthopoulos had done what was previously unimaginable in trading one of the worst contracts in MLB history and getting value in return. It was the moment that solidified, in my mind, the notion that AA was our guy to get the Blue Jays back to the playoffs.
Let's take a step back for a second and look at why Vernon Wells received so much money in the first place.
The year was 2006. John Gibbons was the manager entering his third season and was leading a team that had Reed Johnson as leadoff batter and Russ Adams at shortstop. Over the course of a tumultuous season that included public altercations with Shea Hillenbrand and Ted Lilly, the Blue Jays rose to an 87-75 record, good for 2nd in the AL East and the first time this had been accomplished for the team since the 1993 World Series team. This was in no small part thanks to the wonderful offensive and defensive output from Vernon Wells.
Blue Jays: 2 Years After The Vernon Wells Trade
Jays Journal | Jan 21