Apr 13, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios (51) tosses his helmet after flying out in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY SportsIf you’ve been a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays since 2009 salary dump has to be 2 of your favorite words in the English dictionary. After all if there was no such thing as salary dumps Alex Rios and Vernon Wells would still be playing for the Blue Jays. Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio would still be playing for the Miami Marlins. All 3 scenarios would be very unpleasant for the average Jays fan.
This week Alex Rios comes back to Toronto with the White Sox and Vernon Wells comes back to Toronto with the New York Yankees.
If one of your favorite things about attending Blue Jays game is booing ex-Jays then boy is this week for you!
Even though people that work at Rogers Centre have no political power they would not be wrong in declaring it National Boo Week in Toronto.
It’s not just because Rios and Wells are in different uniforms that Blue Jays fans are going to boo. They’d probably be getting booed just as much if they were still Jays.
In fact let’s pretend we live in a world where salary dumping doesn’t exist. Reader discretion is advised.
Alex Rios is now 32 years old. From 2010 until the end of 2014 the Blue Jays would have been paying him over 58 million dollars. That seems like a lot of money because of how awful he was in his last season with the Jays in 2009, which is all people seem to remember. It’s very easy to forget he had two 5 WAR seasons in a row with mid 300 on base percentages for the Jays in 2007 and 2008.
Any Blue Jays fan that says Rios isn’t talented is lying.
Even though he’s had 2 good seasons with the White Sox in 2010 and 2012 he was bad in 2011 so it’s not like he suddenly found consistency in Chicago.
Jose Bautista may have never gotten playing time if Rios was still a Jay which would have been very bad. But if Bautista did get to play and Rios was still on the team Travis Snider might have got the opportunity to develop properly in the minor leagues. But chances are Snider still would have been a bust and Rios still would have been an upgrade over all the players the Jays have had playing left field. Melky Cabrera has been better than Rios the last 3 years but it remains to be seen if he’ll be better than Rios in 2013 and 2014.
The thing about Rios is he just plays baseball half-heartedly and is annoyingly inconsistent which can get on anybody’s nerves so he’d probably still be getting booed as a Toronto Blue Jay whether he’s having a good season or not. After all R.A. Dickey got booed for being bad in just his 2nd start!
Then there’s Vernon Wells. Wells makes double the money Rios does with way less than double the production. Unlike Rios, Wells hasn’t gotten back to being a decent player. Since the Jays dumped Wells in the offseason after the 2010 season Rasmus has been marginally better than Wells. Rasmus has just been mediocre for a LOT less money. If Wells was still a Jay between his mediocrity and contract would still be getting booed.