By acquiring the $86 million that Vernon Wells has left on his contract while shipping out Juan Rivera ($5.25 million) and Mike Napoli (~$5.8 million or so), the Angels essentially agreed to add $75 million to their books over the next four years. Just for fun, let’s take a look at what they could have bought with $75 million this winter.
Adam Dunn ($56 million) and John Buck ($18 million) would have given them a lefty thumper to use as an OF/DH type and allowed them to replace Napoli with another catcher who could hit the ball over the wall. Sure, they would have had to play Bobby Abreu in the field for one more year, but the difference between Dunn’s bat and Wells’ bat would have compensated for the difference, and they wouldn’t have had to start Jeff Mathis at catcher.
An entirely new starting rotation
Jorge de la Rosa ($21.5 million), Jake Westbrook ($16.5 million), Carl Pavano ($16.5 million), Hiroki Kuroda ($12 million), and Javier Vazquez ($7 million) signed for a grand total of $73.5 million this winter. This isn’t quite as fair, since it’s almost all 2011 money rather than being spread out over the next four years, but still, the total dollar figure for Vernon Wells is about the same as buying five of the best free agent starting pitchers available this winter.