Well, that came out of right field, didn’t it? Jayson Werth has reportedly signed with the Washington Nationals for seven years and $126 million, that according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. Wow. Not much else to say except wow.
All I can think about with this contract is the awful eight year deal with Chicago Cubs inked Alfonso Soriano to, and we can see how that one is working out. No one is doubting the skill level of Werth, but it appears the Nationals grossly overpaid for a guy who has had two very good seasons. In my estimation, this was a desperate attempt for the Nats to make a splash and get people to come out to their ballpark, especially after losing Adam Dunn just a few days ago to the White Sox.
Werth will head just three hours south, all the while joining a club that is perennially in the basement of the National League East. He’ll no doubt make them better, however, at that price, is it worth it? Seems shocking to me.
But then again, does it seem shocking? The Nationals likely offered him several more years and several more dollars than any other team and wisely, Werth took it. If you were offered $126 million would you turn it down, even if it was to play baseball on the moon? Highly unlikely. And just think – Werth was a small, free agent pickup just a couple of seasons ago. A few stellar seasons have turned him into a very, very rich man.
On the flip side, the Phillies are left without a first round pick. Because it’s in the top-18 it is protected, so the Nationals will keep it and the Phillies will get a lower level draft pick instead.
So that concludes the Jayson Werth era in Philadelphia as he’s now a Washington National. I’m sure you’ll have plenty to say about this one.
UPDATE, 6:06 pm: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says the Phillies offered Werth a three-year deal with an option for fourth worth roughly $16 million per season.
UPDATE, 10:00 pm: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says that the Nationals outbid everyone by so much that Scott Boras didn’t even ask any other teams to match. He simply told Werth to sign on the dotted line.
Stark also says the Phillies have interest in Scott Hairston to plug their hole in the outfield now that we know Werth is gone.
UPDATE, 12:10 pm Monday: In an article by Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Werth says he didn’t feel “wanted” by the team and new it was time to move on.