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.

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