Author Topic: UPDATE: Vernon Wells & Jays Sign Sixth Highest Deal  (Read 694 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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Wells, Jays Looking at 6th Richest Contract in Baseball History
By Jerry Crasnick
ESPN.com
LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2698288

Outfielder Vernon Wells is involved in serious negotiations toward a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and the two sides hope to have a deal in place by the end of the weekend, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source said the chances of Wells remaining a Blue Jay are "better than 50-50," but that "it's not a done deal." Given the size of the contract, the major remaining hurdle is for Toronto owner Ted Rogers to give his approval.  
 
If Vernon Wells accepts the Jays' offer, his pact would be the sixth richest in the history of the sport:

Alex Rodriguez, TEX-NYY  2001-10  $250M  
Derek Jeter, NYY  2001-10  $189M  
Manny Ramirez, BOS  2001-08  $160M  
Todd Helton, COL  2003-11  $141.5M  
Alfonso Soriano, CHC  2007-14  $136M  
Mike Hampton, COL-ATL  2001-08  $121M  
Jason Giambi, NYY  2002-08  $120M  
Carlos Beltran, NYM  2005-11  $119M  
Ken Griffey Jr., CIN  2000-08  $116.5M  
Kevin Brown, LAD-NYY  1999-05  $105M  
Carlos Lee, HOU  2007-12  $100M  
Albert Pujols, STL  2004-10  $100M  

Wells has made it clear to the Blue Jays that he wants to remain with the team, even if that means taking less money than he could earn on the open market as a free agent next winter. Baseball sources say that Wells' agent, Greg Genske, has floated 10 years and $200 million as a possible target if Wells files for free agency next winter.

"How can you not be happy?'' Wells said Friday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Like I said, my family comes first. Obviously this gives me an opportunity to set my family up for a couple of generations. That's the biggest part of this thing. And this gives me a chance to do something special in Toronto that hasn't been done in a while."

Wells said he thought about trying to play with his hometown Texas Rangers.

"The ballpark is 20 minutes from my house. It's obviously a temptation, but [with] everything that I've gone through with Toronto and the relationships I've built there, it's tough to leave," Wells said.

The Blue Jays signed pitchers A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan to long-term contracts worth $102 million last year, but have been less active thus far this winter. After signing DH Frank Thomas to a two-year, guaranteed $18 million contract, general manager J.P. Ricciardi missed out in his efforts to sign pitchers Ted Lilly and Gil Meche.

Earlier this week, Ricciardi said the Blue Jays were leaning toward keeping Wells in 2007 even if they were unable to sign him to a long-term agreement. Wells will be a bargain at a base salary of $5.6 million next season.

Wells, 28, is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner. He hit .303 with 32 homers and 106 RBI for the Blue Jays last season.

Offline 2k6nats

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UPDATE: Vernon Wells & Jays Sign Sixth Highest Deal
« Reply #1: December 15, 2006, 10:05:03 PM »
Does anyone else find it strange that the three highest contracts on that list are from the same year (2001)?

Offline Senators2005

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UPDATE: Vernon Wells & Jays Sign Sixth Highest Deal
« Reply #2: December 16, 2006, 10:27:09 PM »
Jays sign Wells to $126 million, seven-year extension
ESPN.com news services
LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2698288



TORONTO -- All-Star center fielder Vernon Wells agreed Friday night to a seven-year, $126 million contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The commissioner's office and players union approved the deal Saturday, and the Blue Jays are expected to have a news conference Monday to announce the extension.

Wells' pact, the sixth-largest in baseball history, would give him a $25.5 million signing bonus, no-trade clause and guarantee him the right to opt out of his contract after four years. In addition, he could earn bonuses of $250,000 for MVP, $200,000 for World Series MVP, $150,000 for league championship series MVP and $100,000 for receiving the most votes in his league in All-Star game balloting.

"How can you not be happy?" Wells said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press several hours before terms of the deal were finalized Friday. "Like I said, my family comes first. Obviously this gives me an opportunity to set my family up for a couple of generations. That's the biggest part of this thing. And this gives me a chance to do something special in Toronto that hasn't been done in awhile."

The contract value trails only those of Alex Rodriguez ($252 million), Derek Jeter ($189 million), Manny Ramirez ($160 million), Todd Helton ($141.5 million) and Alfonso Soriano ($136 million). It is the 13th $100 million deal in baseball history and the third of the offseason, following those of Soriano with the Cubs and Carlos Lee ($100 million) with Houston.

Wells is due $5.6 million next season in the final year of his old contract. The extension calls for a $25.5 million signing bonus, payable in three $8.5 million installments each March 1 in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He will receive a salary of just $500,000 in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2009, but his salary jumps to $12.5 million in 2010 and $23 million in 2011. Wells receives $21 million in each of the final three seasons.

Under the extension, Wells has the right to terminate his agreement after the 2011 season and become eligible for free agency. In addition, he will donate $143,000 annually to the Jays Care Foundation.

Wells hit .303 with 32 homers and 106 RBI last season and is due $5.6 million next season. He would have been eligible for free agency after next season.

He thought about trying to play with hometown Texas Rangers.

"The ballpark is 20 minutes from my house. It's obviously a temptation, but [with] everything that I've gone through with Toronto and the relationships I've built there, it's tough to leave," Wells said.

General manager J.P. Ricciardi is working to finalize the deal.

"We've said all along we're going to make every effort to sign him," Ricciardi said.

The contract will be the largest in franchise history -- dwarfing the $68 million, four-year deal that Carlos Delgado got from Toronto in 2000.

"How can you not be happy? This gives me a chance to do something special in Toronto that hasn't been done in awhile."
--Vernon Wells

Ricciardi inherited Delgado's contract when the team's payroll was around $50 million, but it will be more than $90 million next season. A stronger Canadian dollar and ownership of the Rogers Centre is allowing the team to spend more.

In the final month of the season, Rogers Communications chief executive officer Ted Rogers agreed that the team needed to increase its $72 million payroll to compete with New York and Boston in the AL East. The Blue Jays finished second in the division, trailing New York, which had an opening-day payroll of $198 million. Boston ($120 million) finished third.

Ricciardi said retaining Wells gives Toronto one of the best lineups in baseball.

"I know Gibby likes him in the third hole. We like our lineup. We think it's as good a lineup as there is in the American League," Ricciardi said.

The Blue Jays signed pitchers A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan to long-term contracts worth $102 million last year, but have been less active thus far this winter. After signing DH Frank Thomas to a two-year, guaranteed $18 million contract, general manager J.P. Ricciardi missed out in his efforts to sign pitchers Ted Lilly and Gil Meche.

Toronto could have traded Wells if it didn't get an extension.

While Toronto lost out on signing free agent pitchers Ted Lilly and Gil Meche, Ricciardi denied that those decisions freed up the money to sign Wells.

The Blue Jays didn't include Wells in advertisements this winter, leading many to speculate that they wouldn't re-sign him.

Wells, 28, said the contract doesn't necessarily mean he'll retire a Blue Jay. The contract is expected to include an opt-out clause.

"It all depends on where my career is," Wells said.