Amazingly, as awful as Vernon Wells was this season, there were actually players who performed worse (not named Jeff Mathis). The one player who I believe could be traded for Vernon Wells, and actually significantly improve the Angels, is Adam Dunn.
First, let me preface. I watch the White Sox from time to time; however, I am definitely not an expert on their team. So, their payroll/prospects/philosophy, I really don't know. I am basing this trade on what I see on the Major League roster.
We'll start with contracts. Vernon Wells is owed 63 million dollars over the next three seasons, and will be 35 years old by 2015. Adam Dunn is owed 44 million over the next three seasons, and will be 34 years old by 2015. So, for this trade to work, the Angels would have to throw a sweetner Chicago's way. If it's money, 12-15 million. My ideal situation would be to throw in Morales. I really like him, and hope he comes back strong; however, it is a gamble. The Angels would still probably have to throw some cash in, but maybe could get bullpen help. I might be getting too greedy..but I digress..
So, the first logical question, is why would the White Sox make this move? Adam Dunn had an awful year. I think it's the worst season in over 100 years from an everyday player. He also received a large contract in the off-season, which has White Sox fans irate at his production. By August, Dunn became strictly a platoon player, and never started against left handers (somehow Wells continued to start against righties). They would be glad to get rid of Dunn. In return, they get Vernon Wells, who amazingly, hits pretty well somewhere other than Toronto. He hits well at US Cellular Field. He could take over center field for Alex Rios, who also had a worse season than Wells.
The next question, is if Dunn was so bad, how can he help the Angels? In my opinion, Dunn is not a declining player yet. He simply had a bad year. Well bad doesn't quite do it. He hit .159, slugged .277, but also managed to have an on base % of .292. I believe he will return to his career averages (bat speed did not seem to be an issue for him). Now over his career, Dunn has never been known as a contact hitter. To expect him to hit higher than around .265 or strike out a ton would be unfair. The bright side of Dunn, is that he can hit 40 home runs and draw over 100 walks in a season. Two areas the Angels lacked was power and guys who can get on base. He also does not have the drastic home/road splits that Wells has. Unfortunately, he does have pretty bad lefty/righty splits. The benefit here is that there are more right handed starters than left handed starters.
This trade allows for Mike Trout (the savior) to become the permanent left fielder. Bobby Abreu can be the 4th outfielder. Dunn becomes a power threat at DH in the middle of the Angels lineup, while providing a lefty bat in between Howie/Torii/Trumbo. Against lefties, Maicer can DH, helping him stay healthy throughout the year.
Of course, this would all be unnecessary if Wells would just opt out of his behemoth of a contract...but we all know he won't...but one can dream...