2010-11 Free Agency

PN Writer's Roundtable: Jayson Werth

QUESTION: Now that he’s a free agent, where do you think Jayson Werth will end up and how much will he get?

Nick “The Beerman” Staskin: Not many people hate the Red Sox more than the Yankees, however I do. In a few weeks, I expect to hate them a lot more.

I’m expecting Werth to sign a 5 yr deal worth about $94 million with the BoSox.

Boston wisely let Victor Martinez go, and I am expecting them to fill his spot in the lineup with a much better option in Werth. The Red Sox outfield is like the Island of Misfit Toys (see what I did there, implementing the holidays?) and Werth can step right in and give them a 5-tool option at a price that they can easily afford.

Jeff Nelson: If the Phillies can’t resign Jayson Werth, I sure hope Detroit can.  Despite already inking former Cleveland Indian and Boston Red Sox backstop, Victor Martinez to a 4-year $50MM deal, the Tigers would forfeit their 2011 first round pick to Philadelphia, not Boston, if they sign Jayson Werth.  That being said I think he’ll wind up with Boston.  I’ve had a gut feeling since the end of the 2010 baseball season, Werth would end up there.  If Adrian Beltre wants too many years or becomes too pricey for what Theo Epstein & company want to offer, they’ll desperately need another impact bat, especially from the right side.  I know Boston’s OF would be crowded if they sign Werth, but they could possibly move one of Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron or maybe even J.D. Drew if they eat some of his salary.

Outside of Werth and Carl Crawford, there aren’t many viable options for Boston that make sense for them.  You can cross off V-Mart and Manny for obvious reasons.  If Beltre doesn’t return and Kevin Youkilis gets moved to the hot corner, they have a potential need for a first basemen.  But If you look further own the road, three high profile first basemen might hit free agency a year later (Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder), which probably increases the chance they plug someone at 1B for one year and take a shot with one of those guys.  In other words they may kick the tires on Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn but they ain’t coming to Beantown on a one-year deal.

Which brings us back to Werth and Crawford.  I highly doubt those two get what they and their agents are asking for.  But I do think the Angles are desperate enough and will overpay to land Crawford.  Again, this would leave the Red Sox desperate for a middle of the order bat and Werth would be a great fit for that lineup.  I’m guessing Boston will sign Werth to a 5-year deal.  I don’t think he gets the $100+MM he’s seeking, but he’ll get more than the Mets gave Jason Bay last year.  My prediction: 5-year $90MM deal.

Kieran Carobine: There a lot of teams showing ‘interest’ in Jayson Werth, while many of the suitors may just be trying to cherry pick. The majority of the teams that look in contention to acquire Werth all come out of the American League. That is, unless you still count the Phillies in this. My guess right now is that the Boston Red Sox have the upper hand. They have been courting Carl Crawford heavily this offseason as well and it could down to numbers for these guys. It seems Crawford wants an eight year deal while Werth is looking for five or six. Either way if the Red Sox sign one of these guys, it will be one of the biggest deals Boston has signed under their new management.

Some other teams in the mix are Detroit, the Yankees, Texas and possibly the Angels. I think Detroit is mainly focused on determining the value for Magglio Ordonez right now and could likely resign him. The Yankees are always a threat to make a big splash in free agency but like Texas, they may be pushing all their chips in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes.

Then again, Werth could come back to Philly on a smaller deal (in years) but its very unlikely. My best bet is he will be the right fielder for the Red Sox next season. Bring on the Hammer!

Paul Boye: It’s hard to get a feel for this, especially since Carl Crawford isn’t close to signing yet. Crawford will dictate how this market will play out, and until we know anything about his destination and contract, Werth’s future is just as murky. I will say that I expect Detroit and Boston to be the favorites, and if neither lands Crawford – say, the Angels do instead – I’m sure their attention will be on Jayson. In the end, I like Boston by a bit, but Detroit should be in it until the end.

Pat Gallen: The obvious teams angling for the services of Jayson Werth include Boston, Detroit, and the Los Angeles Angels. I’m going in a different direction. With Paul Konerko coming off the books and likely headed elsewhere, the Chicago White Sox will have some money to spend. Instead of spending $15 million per season on the aging Konerko, I expect them to do their best to get Werth.

As an Illinois boy, so it would be a homecoming of sorts for the midwestern boy. The ChiSox have $82 million locked up for next year and those who know General Manager Kenny Williams know he will not shy away from making a big splash. Although their payroll has only been around $100 million the past few seasons, if Williams can get owner Jerry Reinsdorf to get that into the 110’s, they may be able to afford him.

Bringing in Werth would push Carlos Quentin either to DH or out of Chicago. He’s a name the Phillies have balked at as a replacement for Werth – Jayson Stark of ESPN.com has reported the asking price to be Dom Brown. That to me says the White Sox are trying to upgrade. This a bold prediction, but absolutely feasible. I see Chicago giving Werth a four-year deal worth $72 million dollars with a fifth year mutual option that could be based on incentive clauses. By the time that fifth year rolls around, Werth will be nearing 37, so an option year will offset his aging and likely decline.

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