Man, Vernon Wells, just doesn’t get it. The Blue Jays drafted him in the first round in 1997. Ten years later, they signed him through 2014 and promised a total of $126 million.
At the time it didn’t look like the greatest deal, but of course, Wells had at least spent his entire career north of the boarder. So, how does he respond to media questions? His favorite movies include two other countries in their titles and his favorite food is a delicacy two boarders away from Toronto. There isn’t one bone for Canadians, at least show up to a lacrosse game, eh and try to make Elisha Cuthbert happy!
In fact, Wells has done little to ingratiate himself to Canadians since 2006 (6.7 WAR, .303/.357/.542 line). Since that break-out year, in four full seasons, Wells has put up a .267/.321/.450 slash line, hit just 82 HRs and stolen just 37 bases. In 2006, he hit 32 HRs (40% as much as he would in four subsequent years) and stole 17 bases. In those four seasons since, he has combined to earn just 7.6 WAR. At age 26 and 27, Wells looked like a young Andre Dawson, yet now looks like an old Aubrey Huff or Rondell White.
One thing Blue Jay fans can take solace in? Seven years ago Vernon Wells had 215 hits — good enough for the 45th most all time by a right-handed batter. And they have him around for four more years and a total of $86 million.
Regardless, Wells isn’t a horrible player. You’d just like to see a bit more PR acumen from him — mention that you love some decidedly Canadian things and you’ll find the fans forgive the fact that you come nowhere near to living up to your contract.
For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.