Where Will Jayson Werth Sign?

Back in February, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Andy Martino asked Jayson Werth if he sees himself as a comparable to Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.  Werth said:

"I think their situation is a little different from mine. I think I'm a season away from something like that. I think I'm really just focused on being part of something special again."

Talking to ESPN's Jayson Stark a few weeks ago, Werth's agent Jeff Borris did draw the Bay/Holliday comparison, while also suggesting his client has no comparables.  Borris added, "If Jayson isn't signed to an extension before he gets to free agency, he'll be the No. 1 position player out there."  Borris seems to place Werth above Carl Crawford.  

Werth is off to a blazing .349/.417/.688 start for the Phillies this year, with counting stats that project to more than 35 home runs and 120 RBIs.  31 in a few weeks, Werth's injury concerns are behind him.  He's ready to cash in – he told Bernard Fernandez he's played his whole career for this season.  I think bidding could start at five years and $80MM.  Who's in?

  • The Red Sox control Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew through 2011 and Jacoby Ellsbury through 2013.  But Werth is a longer-term solution, and Theo Epstein could clear a spot with a trade. 
  • The Tigers could allow Johnny Damon to leave and sign Werth, shifting Magglio Ordonez to left.  They'll have money to work with, but could find other needs more pressing.
  • Could the Royals make a splash?  It might require raising payroll.
  • The Brewers could have an opening in right field if they non-tender Corey Hart.  They'll probably be more worried about Prince Fielder's future, however.
  • The Yankees are seen as a prime candidate for Crawford or Werth, as their only significant outfield commitment is to Nick Swisher.
  • The Giants have to take a look, as Werth could anchor their lineup.
  • The Mariners could use Werth's bat, but he'd probably have to be willing to play left field.  They'd have to bump the payroll back up.
  • The Rangers have potential outfield openings, but ownership would need to be settled.
  • The Nationals don't have a long-term answer in right field, and may look to replace Adam Dunn's bat.

77 Responses to Where Will Jayson Werth Sign? Leave a Reply

  1. switchhitingjesus 5 years ago

    Maybe the Orioles should attempt to get him.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      it’s not that unlikely

      right now, Markakis is the only outfielder who is healthy and hitting even at an acceptable level. he also happens to be the only outfielder who is guaranteed a significant amount of money next season. Jones and Riemold should get the rest of the season to see if they can figure it out, and Pie is coming back around July, but it’s not implausible that come this offseason, we’ll have a hole in LF or CF. we’ll also have a lot of payroll space – our payroll isn’t that big to begin with, but we’re also shedding the contracts of Atkins, Tejada, Wigginton, Izturis, Millwood, Guthrie/Scott could be traded, and I think we’re still paying Jay Gibbons a bit of money this year…

    • philliesfan27 5 years ago

      the phillies should, and i think will, raise payroll for just ONE season. If they give werth the money that he deserves, and boy does he deserve it, their payroll will be off the roof for 2011. However, it could come back down when they get Ibanez and Lidge off the books. The phillies brass need to grab their balls and do whatever it takes to make sure Jayson Werth is in a phillies uniform for as long as possible

  2. bigpat 5 years ago

    I think you can safely scratch him off the Yankees list due to the fact that he probably hasn’t touched a razor in the past two years, and it would take a lot of money for him to shave, lol.

    I would imagine they are committed to Granderson in center for a few years as well, and Gardner is a very good outfielder himself.

    • Yeah, how is Granderson not considered a “significant outfield commitment”?

      • Yankee_Baal 5 years ago

        Because he is trade-able. Granderson’s age, monetary commitment and medium term contract is very attractive for many other teams.

  3. aap212 5 years ago

    Holliday and Bay had better, longer track records, and even they were dependent on Boras getting the Cardinals to outbid themselves badly, and on the Mets having to outbid the market badly out of desperation, respectively. How many teams have deep pockets and a clear need/space for him? Even the Phillies already have an alternative clearly on track to take over pretty soon.

    He’d better hope someone tells Brian Sabean that they don’t burn you as a witch if you have power in your outfield corners.

  4. maybe the reds

    • Definitely crossed my mind, though they may be seeking pitching too and would have to shift Bruce or have Werth play left.

  5. Triteon 5 years ago

    Bay < Werth < Holliday
    I think the Nats should make a strong play for Werth. This is an up-and-coming team and they need to balance the fine pitching talent with a little more offense. That said, I would still be surprised if the Phillies didn't re-sign him for a figure up to $16MM/year with deferments.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      The Phillies won’t re-sign him and the Nationals shouldn’t. He turns 31 in ten days. A guy with a significant injury history who’s peak started very late is likely to be entering steep decline by the time the Zimmerman-Strasburg-Zimmerman Nats are ready to make noise.

      • Triteon 5 years ago

        I don’t think the Phillies should re-sign him, I just think they will because they’re crazy that way. As for the Nats, any number of players could be signed to help that offense; they have a slot for him and he will/could be available. They need to sign some talent to make it easier to sign more talent to surround that young core, otherwise they risk becoming the Royals of the NL.

        • aap212 5 years ago

          Signing non-stars to big contracts when your team isn’t ready to contend is actually how you DO become the Royals. That’s their worst habit. Let your core develop, see what you’ve got, and then sign the supporting parts. It’s hard to say this right now, but the Orioles plan works much better than the Royals plan. Don’t sign Meches and Guillens while your team still stinks. Let your future stars get settled, then make your big strike.

          And with all the money they have committed elsewhere and their refusal to trade Domonic Brown, I have full faith the Phillies will let Werth walk, unless perhaps if they win another World Series or something mitigating.

          • Triteon 5 years ago

            I think we agree in principle. The differences are:
            – whether or not Werth is a star or not; I think he’s an upper mid-level player at his position
            – if the Nats should be considered contenders; Werth certainly doesn’t put them over the top but could continue to push them in the right direction, more so than Dunn (if he’s the sacrificial salary lamb)

            Aside from Brad Hawpe (and assuming the OF position only) next year’s FA class is mostly aging players and/or underwhelming. For 2012, a couple of names pop out but then again that’s Willingham’s FA year.

          • aap212 5 years ago

            We do agree in principle for the most part. I just don’t think Werth is a good fit for a team that isn’t a strong bet to contend in the first two years of his contract. I actually think the Nats make the least sense of any team in the division.

  6. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    He is one of the most pure athletic and skilled players out there and I would love to have him on the Braves. An outfield of Werth, Schafer, and Heyward sounds dynamite!!! But the Braves can’t afford him with all the extensions they need to shell out soon. Every team needs a good outfielder who can play all 3 positions.

    • sunking1056 5 years ago

      I think he’d be a good fit in the Braves lineup for sure. But, as you noted, there’s no way the Braves could afford him. Besides, I do think he’ll be overpaid.

      • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

        He’s one of those guys who isn’t guaranteed to be a superstar, just very likely. He isn’t Albert Pujols or Chase Utley afterall. He’s more of a Jason Bay kinda guy where it’s highly likely that he’ll produce but for not for definite.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      And what? Eat McClouth’s money?

      • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

        I said it sounded good, I didn’t say it would happen. Unless we could trade him for something.

    • k26dp 5 years ago

      If Chipper retires, the Braves could have $13 million to play with. Maybe more if they could find a taker for McLouth.

  7. coachofall 5 years ago

    He’s not young…he is a very good player playing in a great park, surrounded by a great lineup. If somebody signs him to “anchor” their offense they will regret it before the ink drys.

    • nhsox 5 years ago

      I agree. His short track record relative to Bay and Holliday also make his signing a more risky bet.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      Everyone keeps missing this. Injury history, peak beginning late, great park, great lineup. The Phillies will have gotten the best years of his career. If someone signs him to a star contract, they’re begging for a letdown.

      • Muggi 5 years ago

        kind of a narrow view though. He had just won a starting OF job with the Dodgers at age 25 (by putting up 115 OPS+ 16HR in 89 games the previous yr) when Burnett broke his wrist in ST. That injury was misdiagnosed by the Dodgers, and he more or less lost 2.5 seasons because of it…’08 was the first year he was fully healthy again.

        He’s had no significant injury history other than that, and has had no problems with the wrist in 2 seasons now. His peak didn’t begin late…it began at 25, but was derailed by Burnett and bad doctoring.

        • aap212 5 years ago

          His first year as a full-time player was the year he turned 29. That’s a late peak. And if his chance to play full-time was delayed by serious injury, that’s still significant. Injuries are often a reason why peaks begin late. Guys with serious injury pasts often go downhill faster, just like players with unathletic bodies.

          • Muggi 5 years ago

            We just see this differently I guess. Yes, his first full year was at 29…because he suffered a contact injury at 26.

            It’s different when you’re talking about a pitcher that needs TJ or a batter with a torn hamstring compared to a guy who was completely healthy and took a fastball on his wrist.

            It’s not the same kind of “history” at all, and I don’t get why you think it would cause him to go downhill faster.

          • aap212 5 years ago

            Position players with significant injury histories age faster too.

            But fine, let’s look at his comps then. Baseball-Reference’s list of most similar players includes Craig Wilson, Eric Byrnes, Kevin Mench, Jeffrey Hammonds, and Bubba Trammell. PECOTA’s top comps for him include Kirk Gibson and Jesse Barfield. The lists are littered with guys that fell off in their early thirties. A lot of them had late starts to their peaks or significant injury histories.

          • Muggi 5 years ago

            That’s my point though…Barfield and Gibson were guys with significant injury history…their bodies broke down, and the signs of their bodies breaking down were evident even early in their careers. Barfield was declining by 27. Gibson was missing large chunks of time due to his knees by 29. That hasn’t been the case with Werth – he’s had one significant injury, and it wasn’t a case of his body breaking down, it was a contact injury.

            I’m not trying to say Werth is going to be a monster, signing-of-a-lifetime etc etc, I just think the “injury” bug is getting unfairly placed on the guy. There’s been nothing in his past IMO to make people think he’ll turn into a pumpkin at 32.

          • aap212 5 years ago

            I’m not labeling him with the injury bug. I’m just saying it’s a secondary red flag in addition to his age and career path. Werth was a slow starter. He never hit pro pitching at all until he was 22 in the minors, and he never hit major league pitching at all until he was 25. That alone puts him in the profile with guys like Wilson and Mench. Adding the injury is just another thing that can’t help. I’m not saying he won’t be good. I’m saying when a guy’s 31 and has only had three big years as a full time player, you’re begging for trouble by signing him to a multi-year deal. There’s too good a chance he turns into a pumpkin because of the profiles he fits, and if he even just loses a step of speed in the field or a tick of bat speed at the plate, he’s merely a regular getting paid like an all-star.

          • Muggi 5 years ago

            Gotcha, those are reasonable concerns.

    • gigantes2425 5 years ago

      interpretation….giants will offer him 16 million a year over the next 6 years.

      • 55saveslives 5 years ago

        Too bad we still have DeRosa to deal with next year. Hopefully we can just cut ties with him and take the loss. Although Sabes would never and will never admit he made a mistake.

        • giantsfan4life 5 years ago

          Well with Rent-a-wreck and Uribe’s contracts up after this year they could potentially move Derosa to short, freeing up left field.

  8. mcornelius 5 years ago

    Dodgers will have an outfield opening after this year as well.

    • 55saveslives 5 years ago

      I think Jamie is in line for a 5 yr / 80 mill contract before Werth.

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      Ethier, Kemp, and Werth. Now that’s scary!

    • flumesalot 5 years ago

      Beings Werth considered litigation against the Dodgers’ medical staff for the wrist fiasco, there would have to be a LOT of fence mending ($$$$$$$$$$$).

  9. money941 5 years ago

    People may not like to hear it but I think they Yankees could make a play and try to sign BOTH Crawford and Werth. Swisher would be in his last year of his deal, Granderson’s contract is very affordable (by Yankees standards) and they would then have an everyday outfield of Granderson, Crawford, Werth with Swisher and Gardner being alternates or they could finally trade Swish as he’d have a very good contract for many teams.

    • andrewyf 5 years ago

      They’re not trading Swisher. Swisher is one of the top RF’rs in the AL, and very productive. Why does everyone think he’s some kind of marginal role player that the Yankees would just toss aside?

      • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

        Some players never get that A-list feeling. They’re streaky, or they look ugly doing what they do, who knows? Swisher is one the greatest (or least noticed) examples of a guy with a high OBP, 30 HR power and a decent glove who gets no respect. Two problems were a) he came up in Oakland and didn’t have a defined position there, b) he spent two years idling in Chicago working for a manager that didn’t like him and c) when he was traded to the Yankees everybody was convinced that because he was traded for, essentially, a sack of baseballs, they weren’t serious about keeping him and wanted to use his as a future trade chip without losing anybody they truly cared about.

        Truth of the matter is, Swisher is a Yankee, a damn good Yankee and indispensable (at least for the time being) So it’s at the point where people might have to accept the fact that he’s a Yankee. Especially with such a club-friendly contract.

  10. Muggi 5 years ago

    Don’t consider the Phils a legit player Tim?

    Amaro HAS to know he can’t go into 2011 without a legit right-handed bat in the lineup. They’ve got Lidge and Ibanez coming off the books after 2011.

    There’s at least a discussable chance Amaro convinces the owners to go $10m over budget for 2011, knowing they can get back around $140m in 2012 and keep the only RH power threat they have.

  11. Paul Boyé 5 years ago

    Angels are missing from this discussion.

    Still think the Phils will re-sign him before the season ends, but I’ve got nothing more than a hunch there.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      I agree. Especially if the Angels continue to suck. Ownership will want to do something big. Although Crawford seems more of a fit than Werth.

      Matsui is a FA after this year. Abreu will have one more year (possibly 2 if his option vests). Rivera has one more year. You bring in Crawford or Werth and rotate Rivera/Abreu/Napoli through the DH spot in 2011.

      Personally, I’d be a little worried about Crawford or Werth. They both carry significant risks when you are talking about a 5+ year deal. Maybe come in hard with a 3/$60m type deal? Pay an extra $3m or so a year but you shave two years of risk off the back-end.

      All that said, my money is on: (1) – the Yankees … especially if they don’t win a ring, (2) – the Phillies and (3) the Tigers. They just have so much money coming off the books that it’s ridiculous.

  12. littlelouden 5 years ago

    werth is better now that jason bay ever was or ever will be. so please stop comparing him to bay. werth actually has knees and can play defense his arm is rediculous and he can take 30 bases a year if he had to.

    • chaifetz10 5 years ago

      Looking at the career stats, this statement is false. Jason Bay has at least 4 seasons (04,05,08,09) that are better than Worths best season (09).

      The argument that he has 30 SB potential is also false because he has only stolen 20 bases in his best years. By that logic Jason Bay also has 30 SB potential since he stole 21 bases in 04.

      Just sayin…stats do not support your argument.

  13. j6takish 5 years ago

    Tigers and the Yankees seem like the most plausible out of those teams listed.

  14. Dylan 5 years ago

    I don’t see how the Phillies aren’t the number one players in this? In my opinion it goes: Phillies, Yankees, BoSox, Giants, Mets (Unfortunately), Mariners, and Tigers.

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      Maybe the assumption is if the Phils want to retain him, he’ll be extended before the offseason, and therefore if he makes it to free agency they’ll already have their own plan to fill his slot.

  15. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    Who cares the yankees or the red sox will probably pick him up because most players now in this game are money whores and go anywhere where there is the most money.

  16. i think the phils could resign him. he is the only RH bat. if they come close to what the market value is i think he will resign’s. i also think the he benefits greatly from the line up he is in.

  17. vinnieg 5 years ago

    Theres a couple monsters in baseball who can do it all. People think that hitters who can hit 30/20 are just fantasy numbers are wrong. Lets pretend Werth is in 4th spot in San Diego. This happens…

    Gonzalez batting 3rd now gets an increase in fast balls. You can pitch around Gonzo for Werth. Counts 3-1 to Gonzo you will not throw that ‘hope he swings at the knees breaking ball, or that fast ball up and in.

    Now just having the ability to steal 20 in a season is terrific for the guys who bat after you. If Werth is on first now the pitcher has to change his release. He has to throw more fast balls so the catcher has more time to throw out Werth stealing. So now Headley, Venable, and Blanks get less breaking balls. A player like Werth helps not only the person behind him but the people ahead of him too.

    I know San Diego wont make a push for him, I was just going into detail on how good Werth really is.

    Yankees have to see if Gardner can do what hes doing for more than a month. What he is doing right now is disgusting, lets say he finishes the season with an OBP of .360 we have no reason to get Crawford. Say Granderson still struggles in pinstripes we will need a bat.

    And I remember reading that article on MLBTR on how close the Jackson family is with the Werth family. If we got Damon to shave we can get this caveman too.

    I’m so confident Boston will make a push for him. They have alot of DH contracts coming off their payroll next year. They could put back Ellsbury in center, realize Cameron is a 4th outfielder. And put Werth in Fenways left field which is not that difficult to cover.

  18. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    People are really underselling Swisher. I think Swisher is a guy who thrives on the atmosphere of a clubhouse and the support of a coaching staff, but even then, he’s still got so much raw power that in a bad year he’ll give you 25 HR’s and 75 RBI’s, which isn’t terrible. But, with the corrections Kevin Long has made to Swisher’s stance and swing, Swisher is maintaining a consistent ability to get the ball down and get singles as well as home runs. The dude’s glove has also improved. I think Swisher is a candidate to stay in pinstripes for a while, especially given his relative youth. He doesn’t turn 30 until the end of the season. One more thing to consider about Swisher- his muscle is all natural. He stays in shape in the off-season by doing farm work. Those type of people stay may never look ripped but they stay strong and agile for decades. I would say keep Swisher, pick up his option at a discount and then if he maintains his 30 HR power, sign him to 3 years/$30MM with a club option at $10MM w/ a $3MM buyout. Forget Werth. It took him too long to become the player he is and he’s too well protected to know what he can really do.

  19. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Would love to see him in a Boston uniform. Plus, I think it’s a good fit. Obviously, he can get a favorable contract, and the Sox only have one outfielder they really don’t want to let go (Ellsbury). Cameron can get traded, especially if the Sox eat half his salary, and Drew would be difficult to move because of his price tag, but I think he’s pretty valuable to the team anyway. An outfield of Werth, Ellsbury, and Drew would be a very strong outfield. I think the Red Sox biggest concerns next year will be: an outfield slot (not as much because they have an opening, but because their outfield is the weakest area offensively, and they would hate to see the Yanks outbid everyone for both Crawford and Werth), DH (I’m looking at you Adam Dunn.), and either a catcher or something crazy with a new power 1B bat. However, I think if they boost the offense through the outfield position and the DH slot, they might feel comfortable enough with that setup to let go of the dream of nabbing A-Gon. Therefore, the last area would be catcher…..will be interesting to see if they go with a defensive mind who’s nearly a black hole in the lineup, or someone more balanced, or even resign V-Mart if he really heats it up.

  20. johnsilver 5 years ago

    I can’t see Boston signing him. they have been looking for health option of late in contracts for FA’s and Werth will be getting silly money somewhere more than likely, not likely NYY IMO, Crawford fits on that team like a glove, unless the Angels make a strong push on him early and lock him up and then *maybe* Werth ends up in NY.

    Only big bats I can see in Boston next year are more 1-2 year rentals, like Dunn, or maybe Berkman. Dunn I think would do far better than Werth at Fenway regardless and Drew is a better fielder, with the same arm anyway.

  21. cards28 5 years ago

    My guess is that he ends up with the Giants. They need some protection for Panda and i think they will be aggresive this off season despite their bad contract with Derosa.

  22. Rich G 5 years ago

    2011 Red Sox DH imo.

    • chaifetz10 5 years ago

      He’s too good defensively to be a DH. He could play RF with Drew shifting over to LF and Ellsbury back in CF, or they could trade Drew or Ellsbury for a better catcher and put Martinez at DH…just floating out ideas.

  23. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    Werth is a Giant for 4 years/$70MM

    • bucs_lose_again 5 years ago

      I would hope the Giants learned their lesson after the Aaron Rowand fiasco.

      • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

        Probably won’t, hence my ridiculous prediction. I don’t think anybody would go 5 years on Werth, but they’d give him 5-year money.

  24. mistermonkey 5 years ago

    I doubt the Tigers go after Werth if Magglio Ordonez’s option vests (which it will). More likely they’ll either re-sign Damon or go hard after Crawford to play LF, so that they’ll have a solid left-handed hitter batting ahead of Cabrera. At least I hope that’s the root of the plan for all that cash.

  25. Vail Beach 5 years ago

    Paul Konerko leading the MLB in home runs…Jayson Werth having another great season… Dodger fans’ hearts ache. (Which is not to say I’d take Werth over any of LA’s current outfielders.)

  26. philsWSchamps 5 years ago

    GREAT detailed explanation of how Dom Brown replaces Ibanez NOT Werth.

    link to phuturephillies.com

    great site btw.

  27. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    Konerko is yet another example of contract year power explosion. Who’s to say what he’ll do in 2011?

  28. Brian 5 years ago

    There’s probably a 0% chance Werth signs with the Giants. He absolutely hates AT&T Park. I’m sure you could find some of his quotes on his feelings of it.

  29. mikeotis 5 years ago

    Are the Dodgers in the mix at all?? I have to imagine they’ll be looking to replace Manny…

  30. nymets4581 5 years ago

    Ok, Jayson Werth is a great player, no doubt. But can you really be saying he’s better than Matt Holliday and Jason Bay? I know that neither of them are playing well right now, but they are insane. It wouldn’t be ridiculously stretching it to say Werth is near them, and I would love to have him as a Met (although he won’t be), but a contract for more than what Holliday or Bay signed for would be too much

    • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

      I wouldn’t say Jason Bay, or even Matt Holliday are “insane”.

  31. how about he returns to the dodgers? manny ramirez isnt coming back

  32. Fangaffes 5 years ago

    “Borris seems to place Werth above Carl Crawford.”

    Does every agent whose name is pronounced that way have such a strained relationship with reality?

    • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

      BORAS is simply seizing the moment with Werth. It seems like Crawford’s been around forever and nobody noticed Werth until last year. All eyes are on Werth to see if he remains consistent, while people know what to expect out of Crawford at this point so marketing his potential as a free agent just isn’t priority no. 1, nor should it be. He’ll get his contract when the time comes. Selling Werth is going to be trickier, I think.

  33. philsWSchamps 5 years ago

    oh please stop it with the CBP he only hits there . . . blah blah blah. His stats are almost identical over the last 3 years home and away. .008 less avg, .006 more OBP .003 more SLG, .009 more OPS.

    and yes he’s better than Bay. Those arguing otherwise sound like the Mets fans that argued with me two years ago that Church was as good or better than Werth. How’d that one turn out?

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