The Werth Market
Update: Nope, nope. He’s headed to the Heat. Wait … nope, uh, yes, he’s headed to the Rangers. Yes, it’s official. He’s definitely headed to the Rangers.
It sounds like Jayson Werth is not.
There have been reports today the Yankees, who might move a starter upon finalizing the Lee trade, would send Javier Vazquez to the Phillies for Werth. Sources said this afternoon that Werth-for-Vazquez is not happening.
Update: Lee going to the Rangers does not change the fact the Phillies would not trade Werth to the Yankees for Vazquez.
It would take a much better deal to move Werth. Werth and Vazquez are free agents after the season. If the Phillies trade Werth — and the Phillies are exploring the trade market for Werth — they will want Major League-ready talent they can control beyond 2010. Vazquez is not that.
If the Phillies trade Werth — Ruben Amaro Jr. said this week he is willing to trade somebody from his 25-man roster to strengthen another area on his roster– it certainly would be to a team in the postseason hunt that needs a bat. That would be teams like the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, etc. That means Werth for Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren makes little sense. I mean, it might make sense to the Phillies. But why would the Astros or Diamondbacks (or any other team out of contention with a stud starting pitcher) want Werth, knowing he likely will be gone in a couple months? If the Astros or Diamondbacks trade Oswalt or Haren, they also will be looking for young talent they can control beyond this season.
I’m not sure the Phillies trade Werth, but they have their reasons for looking into it. First, they must feel Werth will be difficult to resign. If they feel they can’t resign him, they would rather get Major League-ready talent than two top draft picks for him, which they would receive as compensation if he signed elsewhere. Why not just keep him and get two top picks next June? Because Major League talent could help them this season and beyond. Draft picks can’t help them in the immediate future. They also are much more hit or miss than players who already have proven themselves at the Minor League-level. For every Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Kyle Drabek, there are many more players like Anthony Hewitt, Greg Golson, Timothy Moss and Reggie Taylor.
Trading Werth will be tough. He is the only right-handed power bat in the lineup, which can’t be replaced. Could the Phillies handle that loss?
And it’s not like the Phillies are dead in the water. They might be 5 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East, but they are just 2 1/2 games behind the NL Wild Card leaders. And they should have almost everybody healthy other than Utley before the end of the month. Things could turn around quickly.
The Phillies wanted Lee, but the asking price of Domonic Brown proved too much.
I will be signing copies of my book Saturday from 4-4:45 p.m. during Pigapalooza at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.