Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Greatest Players of All Time Rd2

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Matchup 1: Vernon Wells vs Tony Fernandez

In the first round of our poll, Wells beat out Ernie Whitt by capturing 81% of the vote. That isn’t really a surprise. Let’s be honest, thanks to his “one time” elite numbers from a CF, he managed to climb higher on the all time list than Whitt in just about every offensive category. Wells sits in 3rd place all time with 223 HR.

During his nearly 10 years as a Blue Jay, Wells hit .280/.329/.475 with a WAR of 24.8! That value actually outweighs his massive contract (7yr/$126M) that is at the crux of any ire Blue Jays fans sent his way. When he was hot, he was the face of the franchise. When he started to decline, he was public enemy number one. That was because of his contract.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

But, consider this: His 24.8 WAR would be worth substantially more in today’s market. With an estimated $8M per WAR, his Blue Jays service time was worth $198,400,000! Obviously, that is not an accurate way to describe Wells’ time in Toronto or the value he brought to the team. But, at the same time, we should not understate his contributions, either.

Fernandez (who received 73% of the vote in Rd 1) is the only other Blue Jay to have more hits than Wells. His 1583 are the most ever. And, if you think Wells’ WAR is impressive, consider tony’s mark of 32.4! In his 10+ years as an off and on Blue Jay, Fernandez had 5 seasons (out of 6) where he was worth 4 or more WAR.

Fernandez wasn’t a power hitter at all. He hit 10 or more home runs just 3 times (twice he hit 11). His career ISO mark of .111 pales in comparison to Wells’ .189. But, where Wells was a career .319 OBP hitter, Fernandez averaged .347. But, it wasn’t even his bat that made him so valuable.

According to, his career defense has a value of 116.9 while his bat totals just 19.3. Many people will remember him as a slick fielding short stop, but he also showed an ability to play third and second. As well, it is worth noting that he played in a time where the turf was concrete covered by felt. The ball certainly moved a lot quicker than it does today.

In our next matchup, we look at a couple of relievers who used to be teammates.

Next: Matchup 2: Former Teammates