Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This column in the Globe about the Blue Jays trading Wells struck me as something that might resonate with Sens fans and bring up a few things for discussion as the team considers its trading options.

There is another element to this trade that Anthopoulos won't discuss, yet was the subject of internal discussions as far back as J.P. Ricciardi's final year as GM and even referred to obliquely by some veteran players who passed through the Blue Jays' clubhouse. To understand it, look back to one of the moves Pat Gillick made in 2006, when he took over as Philadelphia Phillies GM and traded Bobby Abreu, one of the team's longest tenured and most productive players.

Of course, finances were a component. But as Gillick reflected on the move in an interview in the Philadelphia Inquirer a few years and one World Series ring later, he noted that, although Abreu was “a good player,” he was also comfortable.

Said Gillick: “He played at a certain level. He looked like he didn't want to make a mistake, like he didn't want to look bad. He just played at that level, and I think he kind of pushed the guys down a little. I think Jimmy [Rollins] and Chase [Utley] were respectful, if that's the word, of Bobby, and when he got out of here, it set a different tone. After the trade, they were the kind of guys who had tenure.”

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