For Blue Jays fans, Vernon Wells to Yankees is all too sweetly schadenfreudelicious

Revenge is a dish best served in the form of a washed-up outfielder.

As if it was not enough for success-starved Toronto Blue Jays fans that their boys of summer stand poised to pounce in the American League East division now that time and fevers have caught up to the Evil Empires in Boston and New York. Jays fans could also enjoy the plight of their former centrefielder and "albatross" Vernon Wells playing for the Yankees.

[Jeff Passan: Sources: Yankees are close to acquiring
Angels OF Vernon Wells in trade

Yep, it's that desperate in Gotham City. It's like 1991 when the Jays were winning the AL East while former Toronto heartthrob Jesse Barfield was hitting .225 for a 91-loss Yankees team. Only this time there's a side of venom.

Wells came up with the Jays, where he was three-time Gold Glove centrefielder from 2004-06. He was already at his peak, though, before the '07 season when then-GM J.P. Ricciardi signed him the worst contract in baseball. That made him an outlet for fan and media frustration.

From Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan):

Wells, 34, is owed $42 million US over the next two seasons is coming off a 2012 season where he on-based .279 and slugged .403, pitiful numbers for an outfielder. You could go on and on citing both traditional and sabermetric stats that convey Wells' decline (his defensive Wins Above Replacement last season was -0.5).

There is the chance Wells could be rejuvenated by the prospect of more plate appearances with the Yankees. It's also possible that Toronto fans holding their collective sides over the "match made in bloated contract heaven" are tempting fate. Those are thoughts you come back to in the fall, not in the spring when everyone is tied for first and believes it's their team's year.

Really, though, this is the fall of Rome in pinstripes. Anyone who has stood by the Jays through two fallow and frustrating decades — through Labatt divesting itself of the team, the absentee Interbrew ownership, former president Paul Godfrey introducing black uniforms, Ricciardi misinterpreting Moneyball and then doing a complete 180, should enjoy this going down.

Think back to 2008. The Blue Jays were arguably the sixth-best team in Major League Baseball, but finished a dispiriting fourth in AL East with 89 wins. The economic meltdown happened roughly at the same time. Now Wells is headed to the Yankees, whose 'disabled list payroll' would rank 17th in baseball. Ricciardi is working for the New York Mets, who have been reduced to paupers thanks to Bernie Madoff and had to trade their Cy Young-winning pitcher, R.A. Dickey, to the Jays.

Wells going to the Yankees adds to the narrative arc, definitely. Enjoy it while the Jays' ride lasts.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to

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