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Sunday, December 5, 2010


Release courtesy of the Nationals and, yes, I am patting myself on the back. HARD

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with free-agent right fielder Jayson Werth on a seven-year contract. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Werth, 31, is a career .272 (684-for-2519) hitter with 138 doubles, 15 triples, 120 home runs, 406 RBI, 77 stolen bases and 433 runs scored in 775 games spanning eight seasons with Philadelphia (2007-10), Los Angeles-NL (2004-05) and Toronto (2002-03). For his career, Werth also owns .367 on-base and .481 slugging percentages, as well as an .848 OPS.

In 2010, his final season with the Phillies, Werth batted .296 (164-for-554) with an NL-leading 46 doubles, 27 home runs and 85 RBI in 156 games. He established career highs in hits, doubles, extra-base hits (75) and runs (106). He also notched a career-best .532 slugging percentage in ‘10, and thus, increased his slugging mark for the fourth straight season.

An NL All-Star in ‘09, Werth burst upon the scene as a premium middle-of-the-lineup bat in 2008, and in three seasons since, he has batted .279 with 88 doubles, 87 home runs, 251 RBI and 53 stolen bases in 449 games. In the same three-year span, Werth has paced MLB having seen 4.46 pitches per plate appearance. In the two-season stretch from 2009-10, Werth’s 204 runs scored, 173 walks and 63 home runs ranked third, fifth and eighth, respectively in the NL.

An excellent baserunner, Werth has twice posted 20-stolen base seasons (2008, ‘09), and in 2010 his speed and senses helped him to score 100-plus runs for the first time in his career.

Drafted in the first round by the Orioles as a catcher in 1997, Werth has proven durable, as he is one of only 12 National Leaguers to have played in 155-plus games each of the last two seasons.

A proven post-season performer, Werth’s .607 slugging percentage and .987 OPS rank third and fifth, respectively, among active players who have played in at least 20 playoff games.


Steven said...

Great job, Mike. Now, what do we think of this? Seven years? He'll be a good player for what, half that time?

MikeHarris said...

I love the signing the player. Too many years and too much coin but that's the price of being really bad for so long. You have to overpay.

Hopefully it will pay off quickly and this team can win in 2012 and it will seem worth it. But, yeah. Too high. Too long.

NervousNatsFan said...

Yeah, I think I would have preferred Dunn at 4yrs/$56mil + other players to make up the $70mil (!!!!) difference. Now, any word from your sources on Cliff Lee (hey, a Nats fan can dream, right?)

MikeHarris said...

My sources say two more names could be added this week. One no surprise. One a bigger surprise than this one. Neither for this kind of deal. This was their big deal.

ckstevenson said...

Off the cuff reaction?


For the money they are going to give him, and over the years, we should have kept Adam Dunn. Werth is sure to be washing up no later than the end of year 4 of the deal. Does anyone honestly think he'll be productive past age 35?

There better be at least one more signing, and it better be impressive. Because so far this SUCKS.

NervousNatsFan said...

Another blog post coming with the other two names from your sources? I'm thinking Carlos Pena or Brandon Webb and then a shocker - trading for a young pitcher? I might not be the most patient fan ever.

MikeHarris said...

You think you're nervous?

Webb is no surprise. Everyone thinks that will get done - and he'll be off to pitch in the Wang-Flores League.

I'm going to post in the a.m. with my thoughts on this deal. IF I nail down the other stuff, I will post immediately.

I like being 100 percent sure. Sometimes, like today, I'll take a chance at 99.9999 percent.

sogive said...

Congrats on the scoop, Mike! :)

I don't understand the carping about the money. It's the Lerner's cash, not mine, so what do I care?

But having started down this road they now need to go all the way or it will NOT have been WERTH it.

(That likely will NEVER get old)

CoverageisLacking said...

Mike, nice job and congrats on the scoop.

Kind of telling, though, that you've got better sources apparently than all the guys who are supposedly working thr Nats beat.

Anonymous said...

Kind of telling, though, that you've got better sources apparently than all the guys who are supposedly working thr Nats beat.

Apparently, at the very least Ben Goessling knew about it but didn't post. Still think a lot of this has just come out in the last 2 or 3 days.

Let's face it. We know Boz probably knew about it. They probably started leaking a bit because of his last flame fest against the organization. Which of course makes him look good for kick starting them ... even though they had been working these moves probably starting in JULY peeps!!! Sheesh.

Let the man (Rizzo) do his job will ya!!!

MikeHarris said...

Not meaning to UNtoot my horn here. I haven't left this room all day because my freakin' head has swole up so big I can't get out! (Kidding)

I have SOME connections but nothing like the regulars. Most of them were traveling today, so there's that.

But I was surprised that there was not a sniff of this before this a.m. that I'd heard. Did anyone see this coming?

Have not talked to the beat guys. They're busy and it is a busy work day for me, too (BCS BAYBEEEE)

However -- if anyone had an inkling on this and didn't report? Wow. I can't believe that would happen. This is big, beyond Jee-SUS maybe the biggest story in Nats history. In stature of player. Length of contract. Price of contract. HUGE story. If I was still an SE and someone sat on this? There would be some 'splaining to do.

Of course, in my beat days, I always claimed to have known something. "Just not enough to pin it down. Thiiissss close." You never admit you were in the dark, even though you were totally.

Anonymous said...

"Let's face it. We know Boz probably knew about it."

You can be sure he didn't. As always, Boz is clueless. He was saying as recently as Thursday that the Lerners are cheap, a drum he's been beating for years.

Victor said...

Mike, is your birdie telling you one of these two others is a first baseman? Because in all the excitment, everyone seems to have forgotten we don't have a starting first baseman.

Victor said...

Ah, what the hell. If it's a "big" deal, then we're getting either Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard ;)

Hendo said...

Well played, Mike, and many thanks for the tip. You have at least one Barracks Row brew coming your way in 2011; let me know when you're in town.

I'm counting $25M of this deal as the cost of doing business with Boras, which will be a small cost indeed if it indicates an intensified direction toward competitiveness.

Aussie Gus said...

Nice work Mike. I'll get a big head as well, as my last post on your Thank You Adam Dunn piece said "I am upset too. It's always nice having a player like Dunn in your team, but hey, the season hasn't started yet, and Rizzo still has work to do. I'll be angry when I see the team on Opening Day."

Surely I saw it coming... and stop calling me Shirley.