Author Topic: UPDATE: Vernon Wells & Jays Sign Sixth Highest Deal  (Read 961 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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Wells, Jays Looking at 6th Richest Contract in Baseball History
By Jerry Crasnick

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.