Jayson Werth Rumors
Yesterday Jayson Werth signed the third-largest contract ever for an outfielder, as the Nationals locked him up for seven years and $126MM. He and Vernon Wells figure to be bumped soon by Carl Crawford, though. Many thought Werth would get five years, a few thought six, but I didn't see anyone predicting seven. Reactions:
- ESPN's Keith Law calls the contract "irresponsible" and takes on the "losing teams have to overpay" argument.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says this is "not the drastic overpay that it appears to be on the surface."
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says that from Scott Boras' point of view, "This deal wasn’t as much about need as it was capitalizing on eagerness."
- Talking to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, Mets GM Sandy Alderson remarked, "It makes some of our contracts look pretty good. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington."
- One GM, upon hearing the length of Werth's contract, told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports it was "absolutely bat---- crazy." CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says one American League GM "nearly fell over when I told him the terms."
- The Phillies' offer, which GM Ruben Amaro Jr. deemed "significant," was for three years and about $48MM according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki notes that a fourth-year vesting option would have increased the value to $60MM.
A grab bag of overnight links, as we look forward to updates out of Orlando....
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier hears from a source that Adrian Gonzalez has wanted to play for the Red Sox for a "really long time." There is no set deal for an extension in place, but rather an understanding of what it will take, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- In a separate piece, Speier notes that the Nationals' signing of Jayson Werth significantly increases Boston's chances of receiving a first round pick from the Tigers as compensation for Victor Martinez.
- Though Speier suggests the Red Sox didn't ultimately make a formal offer to Werth, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says Boston's interest affected the Nationals' negotiations.
- In a preview of the winter meetings from the Dodgers' perspective, Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times explain how Vicente Padilla could still fit into the team's plans.
- Daniel Bard tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he'd like to see the Red Sox add some veteran bullpen help.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic identifies some potential free agent targets for the Diamondbacks.
In his latest piece for ESPN.com, Jayson Stark discusses the ripple effect that Jayson Werth's $126MM deal will have on the remaining free agents. One AL official opines that it raises Carl Crawford's price in a "big, big way": "He's looking at maybe eight years, $180 million now, maybe 10 years, $190 million." Here are the rest of Stark's hot stove notes:
- Crawford is the clear top target for the Angels, but in the past they've tried to avoid going as high as eight years for any player, let alone ten.
- Despite getting Werth's contract done already, Scott Boras often drags out negotiations for his top clients. Stark polled a dozen people across baseball on when Adrian Beltre would sign, and many predicted it wouldn't happen until Christmas or later.
- Neither the Yankees or Rangers have made a formal offer to Cliff Lee yet, but many of those baseball people polled by Stark expect a deal to get done within the next week.
- There's good news and bad news for the Royals and Zack Greinke's trade value: with many free agent arms coming off the board already, Greinke has become more valuable in a pitching-thin market. However, according to one AL source, "Greinke has been trying to convince the Royals that it's not a great idea if he's there next year," which reduces Kansas City's leverage.
- The Diamondbacks haven't totally ruled out trading Justin Upton, though it appears unlikely. Kevin Towers tells Stark "it's going to take somebody a little on the crazy side" to get anything done.
- There's a sense that Jason Bartlett is the player most likely to be traded this week. However, Stark has trouble finding a team in need of a shortstop that matches up well with the Rays, who would like a late-inning reliever in return.
- With Werth off the market, the Phillies will look to replace him with a complementary player rather than a big name. Stark lists Scott Hairston, Jeff Francoeur, and Matt Diaz as a few possible targets. Philadelphia has also been trying to find a taker for Raul Ibanez, but would likely have to eat a good chunk of salary to do so.
Some links on what has been a very busy day in baseball..
- Ronny Paulino is on the Rockies' radar after being non-tendered by the Marlins, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
- Don't expect Adrian Beltre in Baltimore, GM Andy MacPhail told Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
- GM Ruben Amaro says the Phillies offered Jayson Werth a significant contract, writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.
- The Nationals' offer for Werth was so far beyond what everyone else was offering that agent Scott Boras didn't bother to ask other teams if they wanted to match, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.
- Not only does Jim Thome plan on coming back in 2011, he wants to play for two more seasons, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Mariano Rivera's new deal with the Yanks is for exactly $30MM but deferred payments make it worth $14.7MM per year, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.
- The Carl Pavano market should become a little more transparent this week, says Buster Olney of ESPN (via Twitter). Earlier we learned that the Nats are in the mix for the veteran pitcher.
The Nationals shocked the world today, and they're not done yet..
- Even after shelling out $126MM over seven years for Jayson Werth, the Nationals are still looking to make a splash in free agency. The club is still in on pitcher Carl Pavano, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Every player on the Nats, excluding Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, is being considered in trade talks, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Josh Willingham, who has long been talked about in trade rumors, seems especially likely to be headed elsewhere now.
- The Nationals are in the mix for Carlos Pena, but his preference is to stay in Tampa Bay, tweets Ladson.
Scott Boras landed Jayson Werth a nine-figure contract with a surprise suitor this afternoon. The Nationals signed the free agent outfielder to a seven-year, $126MM deal. In case any doubt remained, this deal shows that it's a good time to be a free agent. Werth turned three productive seasons into the third biggest deal a free agent outfielder has ever signed.
Manny Ramirez ($160MM, 2000) and Alfonso Soriano ($136MM, 2006) are the only outfielders to sign bigger deals than Werth's. Interestingly, Vernon Wells and Barry Zito both signed deals worth exactly as much as the one Boras just negotiated with the Nationals.
The Phillies offered Werth, a Type A free agent, arbitration, but will not receive the Nats' first-round pick as compensation because Washington's pick is protected. Philadelphia will instead receive the Nats' second-round pick and and a compensatory sandwich-round pick.
It was said earlier this week that the most serious suitors for the 31-year-old were the Phillies, Tigers, and Red Sox. Those three teams were all in on Werth up until the end, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. While Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Boston got up to four years on Werth, Alex Speier of WEEI.com hears the Sox never made a formal contract offer to the outfielder.
MLB.com's Todd Zolecki first reported that the two sides were nearing agreement. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) confirmed the deal, Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) first reported the length of the contract and Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported the deal's terms (via Twitter). Rosenthal later tweeted the financial breakdown. Werth's $4MM signing bonus will be payable between January 2011 and January 2012, and his annual salaries are as follows: $10MM, $13MM, $16MM, $20MM, $21MM, $21MM, and $21MM.
Free agent outfielder Jayson Werth has agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Werth signing with the Nats would be a surprise, though the pairing does make sense. Washington now has money to spend after losing Adam Dunn in free agency and needs to replace the bopper's bat in the lineup.
MLB.com's Todd Zolecki first reported that the two sides were nearing agreement.
Rival executives have been expecting Adrian Gonzalez to land with the Red Sox at some point, and right now it's on the verge of happening. ESPN's Buster Olney writes (Insider req'd) that once the Gonzalez deal is complete, Boston will still have enough financial flexibility and the leverage to pursue a high-priced player like Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth.
The Padres, meanwhile, will be left to explain to the fan base that trading the team's best player is a good thing. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors...
- The Orioles are the "clear front-runner" for Mark Reynolds. Last night we heard that Chris Tillman's name has come up in trade talks.
- The Mets will listen to offers for Jose Reyes, and unless the two sides agree to a contract extension, they will move the shortstop before the trade deadline next July.
The Red Sox, Tigers and Phillies are seen as the most serious suitors for Jayson Werth, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Red Sox met with Werth and agent Scott Boras yesterday, according to ESPNBoston.com. However, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that the sides did not discuss contract terms yesterday. Instead, Werth, GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona got to know each other.
The Rangers haven't ruled out pursuing Werth, but the White Sox are not pursuing him, Morosi reports.
WEDNESDAY, 1:58pm: The Red Sox are serious about Crawford and have met with him and his representatives in Houston, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter). The Angels have also met face-to-face with Crawford, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
8:28am: The Red Sox have been relatively quiet this offseason, making a waiver claim and a couple minor trades, but generally staying out of the spotlight. They’ve been busy behind the scenes, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald who reports the team is working hard to sign Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth.
Silverman suggests Crawford is asking for an eight-year deal and Werth is asking for a six-year deal. Since teams such as the Angels, Rangers and Tigers could use outfielders and have money, the asking price in terms of dollars and years figures to remain high for both players.