What was Angels’ GM Reagins thinking?

Toronto Blue Jays Vernon Wells backs off a pitch during an American League MLB baseball game in Toronto in this September 6, 2010 file photo. The Blue Jays have traded the three times All-Star outfielder to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera, the MLB teams said on Friday. Wells has spent his entire 14-year career with the Blue Jays who made him the fifth selection overall in the 1997 draft. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill/Files (CANADA – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

In a stunning move, the Angels traded Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera to the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Vernon Wells, who is due a whopping $86 million over the next four seasons. The deal frees the Jays of one of the worst contracts in baseball.

For Toronto, this trade gives the Jays financial flexibility for years to come. What’s shocking is that the Halos got almost no cash in return. There have been reports that Toronto will send L.A. $5 million, but that’s nothing when you consider what Wells will receive over the next four years. This was basically a get-out-of-jail free card for Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos.

I guess the hope is that Wells, Torrii Hunter and Peter Bourjos will give the Jays a solid outfield to go with their strong starting pitching. But not only is that asking a lot, even if Wells puts up good offensive numbers over these next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he lives up to his contract (nevertheless outperforms it). Chances are he will decline and then what? The Halos are still left holding the bill.

As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote, most teams are trying to get younger, cheaper and better. The Angels just got older, more expensive and possibly even worse. It’s almost like GM Tony Reagins hit the panic button as soon as Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox and Adrian Beltre agreed to terms with the Rangers. I can see him sitting in his office saying, “We’ve got to do something! We’ve got to do something!!”

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What’s it like to be an MLB general manger? Ask Alex Anthopoulos.

Blue Jays GM

MLB.com has a cool interview up right now with Toronto Blue Jays General Manger Alex Anthopoulos. He fields questions from site users detailing the Roy Halladay deal and future prospects. I’ve posted some of the highlights below. Check out the full interview here.

Alex Anthopoulos: Glad to be communicating one on one with the fans. Excited to hear your questions. Looking forward to answering some of your questions.

budski23: Alex, you are in your early 30’s, and you are a GM of an MLB team. Be honest with me, was there a time this week where you said to yourself, “Oh my gosh, I just traded Roy Halladay!!!” Is part of this a little unreal to you right now? Sounds like an amazing ride!

whit201: Now that it has been confirmed that Cito [Gaston] is only back for one year, have you started to think about who the next skipper would be? Would you think about someone that is already on the staff or in the organization or would you look outside?

Anthopoulos: It’s something that we’re going to start to examine when we get to Spring Training. My first order of business with respect to this is to talk to the other 29 GMs and a few other select former GM to get their feedback on their process of hiring managers. In doing so, I’m going to ask for the recommendations from each organization and start to compile a list. I plan on using every method to gather information on every candidate whether it is front office, clubhouse guys, players, other coaches in the process. We’re fortunate enough to have a season where we can do the homework on all the candidates.

youtubber: I noticed at the press conference that you said [Kyle] Drabek would start at Double-A New Hampshire. Don’t you think he is at least ready for Triple-A [Las] Vegas? Curious on why you thought that right away.

Anthopoulos: You know right now without having Drabek in camp our thought is that he starts in Double-A because he finished there. That being said, if he will have the opportunity to compete in Spring Training whether it is for the Major League team or for the Triple-A rotation. We are certainly not putting any restrictions on where he starts — that will be up to him.

Anthopoulos is just a 33-year-old with an economics degree. Don’t give up hope, kids. I suggest reading the whole interview. He gives great insight into what it’s like being a young GM making huge decisions.

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