What If Scenario
This was fueled by my lingering distaste for the Vernon Wells trade. With all the amazingness that is named DiPoto, it still doesn't vindicate the trade. The sting resurfaces now and again. Like the AM830 interview recently where Vernon said he wants to hit 2nd or when the name Anthopoulos comes up. The only vindication will be if we win a championship with Vernon Wells as a contributor.
Earlier today, I learned that the Blue Jays had signed Francisco Cordero to a deal worth $4.5 for one year. I felt very happy that the Angels dodged a bullet in signing another reliever that would have ended up on the list of bullpen arms that have aged us (J.C. Romero, Hector Carrasco, Esteban Yan, Justin Speier, Brian Fuentes, Fernando Rodney, Hisanori Takahashi, etc.). I figured they had owed us several favors(in addition to taking Mathis off our hands) since we took on Vernon Wells. Thanks Toronto.
Then, I was thinking how the fan base had been limping on, watching Vernon in Angel red and Napoli being called the World Series MVP prior their Game 6 collapse. But then again, we didn't trade Napoli to Texas. Anthopoulos did. And though Reagins earned and still deserves every criticism of the deal, Anthopoulos hasn't received any for also passing up on Napoli.
Not saying the he deserves much if any, as he moved the unmovable contract of Vernon Wells but how would Napoli have helped the team? Last year Napoli outperformed both the Jays' 2012 starting First Baseman Adam Lind and starting DH Edwin Encarnacion.
Edwin Encarnacion, in a Mr. Toad's wild ride fashion, was put on waivers by the Blue Jays after the 2010 season, picked up by the A's in November 2010, non-tendered in December 2010 and finally resigned by the Jays to a 2 year $6 Million deal by Jan 1st of 2011. He had a respectable .272/.334/.453 in 2011.
Then there's Jays 1st Baseman Adam Lind, who hasn't posted an OBP over .300 since 2009 and had below league average wOBAs in the subsequent 2010 and 2011 seasons. Essentially, his 2011 season was similar to Vernon Wells. Lind is signed through 2013, making $5 Million in 2012 and 2013, with team options through 2016.
Let's say Edwin was never resigned by the Jays, Napoli would slide into the DH slot very nicely along with his .320/.414/.631 slash line. Now you have added a 30 HR hitter to protect Jose Bautista.
Now post-2011 season, say that the Jays front office, unhappy with Adam Lind's production, decide to move his contract (eating some of the contract as well). You now have a slot open at First Base with the Jays making a legitimate run at Prince Fielder being their First Baseman.
Anthopoulos has been quoted as saying the Jays would be able to support a high payroll down the road(http://getfile2.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/temp-2012-01-24/bFfcgqDDJzfAEibhzqpnrxdzjqBivhchylmGkzlcivHGzFABEEknbDkIDosx/01-24-12_Alex_Anthopoulos_on_big_name_free_agents_for_web_1869278.mp3) . And in addition to that, Team President Paul Beeston said that Rogers Communications has never turned down a request to increase payroll(http://www.fan590.com/media.jsp?content=20120119_114529_428).
Between signing Francisco Cordero, Darren Oliver, Nelson Figueroa, Omar Visquel, acquiring Jeff Mathis, and reacquiring Jason Frasor, that comes out to $23.65 Million. Not to mention, if Edwin was never signed($3.5 Million Salary in 2012)and you moved Lind(or at least his $5 Million for 2012), that's $32.15 Million. Take $8 Million off for Napoli and $4 for the Morrow extension and you have $20.15 Million left to spend(With two Arbitration cases left to settle). Request your payroll to be increased and Back Load Fielder's contract and you could swing it financially. Him wanting to play in Toronto is another story.
Now you have the punch that Detroit has:
Except you don't.
Vernon Wells Trade Karma.