Wells puts onus on the players

Vernon Wells is doing his best to tune out the bigger picture playing out for his Toronto Blue Jays these days, with ace Roy Halladay on the trade block, the possibility of another payroll cut looming, and no permanent leadership found yet for the executive offices.

Toronto Blue Jay Vernon Wells celebrates his home run with David Dellucci Wednesday.

TORONTO — Vernon Wells is doing his best to tune out the bigger picture playing out for his Toronto Blue Jays these days, with ace Roy Halladay on the trade block, the possibility of another payroll cut looming, and no permanent leadership found yet for the executive offices.

The centre-fielder is the longest tenured position player on the team, and with five seasons remaining on his US$126-million, seven-year contract after this one, is likely to retain that status for a while, giving him a vested interest in how the next week plays out.

But Wells believes the best thing he and his teammates can do at this uncertain time is focus on the field, find some consistency and give management a reason to believe and perhaps invest in the current group.

After all, the other stuff is out of their control anyway.

“We’re not concerned about what the payroll is going to be, because there’s people and presence in this room that have the ability to win,” Wells said before Wednesday’s game with the Cleveland Indians.

“Going into spring training there was talk of 2010 and from a players’ standpoint you want to win now, you’re not looking at the future. That being said, with the young guys in here, and over the last couple of years young guys have been able to get needed experience, let’s go out and do our jobs and give ourselves and the front-office an opportunity to upgrade instead of cutting things back.”

It may be too late for that, as a strong start to the 2009 season has given way to the morass of mediocrity the Blue Jays have found themselves in the past few seasons.

They’ve had some good teams, but none good enough to get over the hump and reach the post-season. Dealing Halladay would mean the Blue Jays are closing the current competitive window built by J.P. Ricciardi and looking to regroup for 2011 or 2012.

“Obviously, it would be a major change if it happens and I think everyone in this clubhouse knows the business side of the game,” said Wells. “If something were to happen, I think the organization would take a slight blow but what you get in return for him future-wise will further help this organization down the line.”

That line of thinking helps Wells understand why his bosses are considering the option, but he isn’t convinced that would lead to a better way of skinning the cat.

“From a front-office standpoint, when you’re looking at the future of our ball club and having a chance to get three, four guys who can play at this level and contribute for Roy, than it’s something you have to take a look at,” said Wells. “It’s not something you necessarily have to do, because with Doc in this rotation, we can win just as many games.

“It’s just a matter of what direction you want to go.”

A Halladay trade would likely bring further changes, with veterans like Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, Lyle Overbay, Scott Downs and Jason Frasor possibilities to follow him out the door.

Just Posted

Pot stores on agenda at Toronto city council after two municipalities opt out

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto are set to debate whether to allow… Continue reading

Police believe body found near Mexican resort is missing Quebec woman

MONTREAL — Mexican authorities have found the body of a woman near… Continue reading

Experts struggle with ethics of assisted death for people with mental disorders

OTTAWA — Experts the federal government charged with looking at whether people… Continue reading

Two Canadians detained on suspicion of ‘endangering national security’: China

BEIJNG, China — Two Canadian men have been detained in China on… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

Most Read