Going back to Canada Day, there's been a steady procession of special baseball moments at the Rogers Centre. There was the return of Roy Halladay, plus the excitement of the entire Phillies series, followed by the Yankees with Derek Jeter fresh off his 3,000th hit. A month later, there's more subplots — the intensity and hype of Brett Lawrie's debut on Tuesday and on Friday the return to Toronto of Vernon Wells, one of the most overrated yet at the same time underrated Blue Jays in club history.

The 32-year-old Wells was traded to the Angels in January along with the remaining $86 million (all figures U.S.) for the final four years of his overblown seven-year, $126 million contract. In return, the Jays took catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera. GM Alex Anthopoulos spun Napoli to the Rangers for reliever Frank Francisco and held on to Rivera until July, when the Jays sent him to Los Angeles for a song. When the dust had settled, in terms of bodies it looked like Wells for Francisco, but not quite. There's more to it than that.

The saved payroll allowed Anthopoulos the flexibility to sign Jose Bautista for five years and gave the Jays a chance to build around a new clubhouse leader, Wells being the old.