Commentary

Why Toronto won Vernon Wells deal

Blue Jays didn't get much in return, but salary relief will give them options

Originally Published: January 22, 2011
By Dan Szymborski | Special to ESPN Insider
Vernon WellsNick Laham/Getty ImagesVernon Wells is not the offseason prize the Angels had hoped for.

Looking at a likely third-place team and running out of available players to spend leftover cash on, Los Angeles Angels GM Tony Reagins surprised the baseball world by acquiring outfielder Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays.

At first glance, this trade appears to be an act of desperation. 2010 was the worst season for the Angels since 2003, and with the Texas Rangers cementing their place as the best team in the division and the Oakland Athletics aggressively making moves this winter, the organization felt a lot of pressure to add a big name to the roster. The team failed to sign Adrian Beltre and Carl Crawford; its biggest offseason signing had been Scott Downs.