Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’

Werth Wins It

Phillies fans booed. Jayson Werth homered.

He went 2 for 3 with a double, home run, RBI, walk, stolen base and two runs scored in last night’s 7-4 victory over the Phillies.

“I was kind of waiting for it,” Werth said of the boos. “Once I got it, it was kind of funny.”

Werth had some interesting things to say before and after the game.

Here’s a taste:

  • “One of the things that (Charlie Manuel) told me throughout the season last year was – you mentioned Jim Thome. When Thome was (a free agent), he wanted to stay there (in Cleveland) and play there and Charlie said, ‘If you give up the big deal and stay here I’ll never speak to you again.’ That was one of his life lessons for me. There was a few of those.  I learned a lot about life, love and baseball from Charlie Manuel. There was a lot of good times there.”
  • “I think that was more going back to when they traded Cliff before the 2010 season,” said Werth, asked about comments he made in the offseason that made it sound like he is upset with the Phillies for choosing Cliff Lee over him. “That was more to do with that. If we would have had Cliff last year it would have made things a lot different. Baseball is a business. I understand all that. I think whatever was interpreted and said, the meaning was, ‘Hey, we could have had Cliff all year.’”
  • “When we played against Manny Ramirez, Charlie was always yelling at Manny,” said Werth, who was told Manuel plans to give him some crap when he’s in the batter’s box. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
  • “Obviously, any time you hit a home run you are going to have some satisfaction. Was it extra special against those guys? Probably a little bit. I was trying to perform well for Charlie. He hasn’t seen me play in a while.”

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You Miss Jayson Werth

Charlie Manuel is looking forward to trash-talking Jayson Werth today at Nationals Park. I’m sure a few Phillies fans are, too. But I’m sure a few more will cheer him when they invade Washington this week for a three-game series against the Nationals.

Werth played a big part in resurrecting the franchise.

Everybody knows Werth left the Phillies in December to sign a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals. The Phillies offered him a guaranteed $48 million, which would have jumped to $60 million if they exercised a 2014 option. Some people seem offended Werth signed with Washington. Numerous fans have asked me, “What’s the difference when you’re talking about that much money?”

My answer is always the same: The difference is $78 million.

If somebody offered me $126 million and somebody else offered me $48 million, 10 times out of 10 I’m taking the $126 million. Why? Because the difference is $78 million. Maybe you think that makes me greedy. I just think that makes me honest. If we’re really being honest, the Phillies needed to offer Cliff Lee $120 million to return to Philadelphia. If they had offered him $100 million he would be in New York or Texas right now. Lee deserved every penny he got. He shouldn’t have accepted less. Yes, he took less money to return to Philadelphia, but he didn’t take $78 million less. The Yankees reportedly offered him a guaranteed $148 million, or $28 million more than the Phillies.

The Phillies had to get into Lee’s ballpark to bring him back. The Phillies never got into Werth’s ballpark, so it’s impossible to blame him for taking the much, much better deal.

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The good news for the Phillies is Ben Francisco has played well in right field through the season’s first nine games. But there is no question Werth did an excellent job as an everyday player from late 2008 through last season. Here are the reasons why you miss Werth:

  • He had an .889 OPS from 2008-10, which ranked 23rd out of 182 players in the big leagues.
  • 87 home runs (14th).
  • .513 SLG (21st).
  • 277 runs (21st).
  • .376 OBP (24th).
  • 181 extra-base hits (26th).
  • 34 game-winning RBIs (27th).
  • 53 stolen bases (34th)
  • 4.46 pitchers per plate appearances (1st).
  • 25 assists (6th among rightfielders).
  • .989 fielding percentage (6th)
  • .875 zone rating (8th)

I know one big knock is he hit terribly with runners in scoring position last season. No argument there. Werth hit .282/.380/.506 overall in his four-year career with the Phillies. He hit a horrific .150/.335/.274 SLG with RISP from Apri 5 – Sept 4. last season.

Ouch. But he hit .298/.418/.508 with RISP from 2007-09, and .333/.438 OBP/.481 SLG with RISP from Sept. 5 through the end of the regular season. I think his resurgence with RISP in the last month of last season coincided with him hiring Scott Boras as his agent. I think Werth stressed out the first five months, and he finally relaxed once he knew Boras would take care of him.

Boo him or cheer him this week? If you boo, boo him because he plays for a division rival, not because he took a monster deal.

You know you would have done the same.

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Update: Getting some great feedback on this. Many fans say they are more upset Werth has taken a few digs at the Phillies since he left, saying the Phillies are getting old, etc. True, true. But I’ve gotten enough how-could-he-take-the-money e-mails that I felt compelled to say, “Really?!?!”

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The Bearded One

Charlie Manuel lit up yesterday morning at Turner Field when Jayson Werth‘s name came up.

He chuckled.

“I’ll be on him,” he said. “I’ll be getting on him. I’ll be getting on J-Dub. I’ll be hollering at him.”

Here’s today’s story about Werth facing his former team.

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Minor League left-hander Ryan Sasaki has received a 50-game suspension for an elevated Testosterone/Epitestosterone ratio.  The suspension of Sasaki, who is currently on the roster of the Gulf Coast League Phillies, will be effective at the start of the Gulf Coast League season.

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Brown Fractures Right Hand, Surgery Likely

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Domonic Brown‘s chances to win the everyday job in right field evaporated today when he fractured his right hand.

Surgery is likely, which would sideline him three to six weeks.

Brown fractured the hook of the hamate bone swinging at the first pitch in his first at-bat in the second inning against the Pirates at Bright House Field. He finished the at-bat, singling up the middle to end a 0-for-15 start to his Grapefruit League season. Brown left the game before the top of the third, returning to the clubhouse and leaving the ballpark quickly for an x-ray.

Brown will fly early next week to Philadelphia, where hand specialist Randall Culp will evaluate him. If the initial x-ray is accurate, surgery seems inevitable.

“Probably,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We won’t know until it’s definitive. What the x-ray reveals right now is what is believed to be a fracture.”

Brown’s loss practically guarantees Ben Francisco will be the Opening Day rightfielder, although Amaro declared nobody a winner in those sweepstakes. Francisco, Brown and John Mayberry Jr. opened the spring as the top contenders to replace Jayson Werth. Brown struggled early as he tried to get comfortable with a new stance at the plate.

“Nobody has won our right field job, but Ben has done very, very well for us,” Amaro said.

Francisco went 2 for 3 with one double, one home run and one RBI against the Pirates. He is hitting .421 (8 for 19) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBIs in seven games this spring.

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Francisco Is Ready to Go

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I spoke with Ben Francisco the other day, and I think the first question I asked is how aware he is that Phillies fans are intensely focused on how the Phillies are replacing Jayson Werth in right field? If you could total every Phillies blog, message board, Internet story, newspaper story and time on sports talk radio devoted to the Phillies’ offseason, Cliff Lee would be the No. 1 topic and Werth and right field would be No. 2.

Nothing else would come close.

Check out the story here to see what Francisco and Ruben Amaro Jr. had to say.

I’ve said many times I’m not overly concerned about right field. I know Amaro has downplayed Werth’s production, but despite a one-year blip with runners in scoring position (it was a very big blip) Werth has been one of the most productive hitters on the team the past few seasons. But I think some combination of Francisco, Domonic Brown, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr. could work.

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Boras Talks Werth, Brown

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Scott Boras participated this afternoon in a news conference for Carlos Pena‘s one-year, $10 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

He spoke afterward about a host of his clients, including Jayson Werth and Domonic Brown.

Boras said the Phillies’ interest in Werth was not token interest. They formally offered him a three-year contract worth $16 million annually with a vesting option that would have increased the total value to $60 million. Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

“Ruben met with us at the general managers’ meetings and definitely said the Phillies were interested,” Boras said. “The question was going to be the years. The marketplace had really advanced itself obvoiusly. And the level of years they were going to go vs. what the Phillies were willing to go (was different).”

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Manuel on Brown, Werth and More

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Charlie Manuel had a formal interview session this afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

Here are a few highlights:

On Domonic Brown possibly being better served playing in Triple-A: “I think Spring Training is going to be big for him. … We kept him on our roster because we felt like at that time he might be able to come off the bench and help us. He definitely didn’t finish the way we wanted him to, but that wasn’t all his fault. I just saw they took him out of Winter Ball. I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried about him getting off to a bad start. There have been a lot of players who have gone to Winter Ball, and there are a lot of players who haven’t done well and sent home. Spring Training is going to be real big for him. I think we’re going to get a lot of work in with him. I think GG and myself, we’re going to work with him some. He’s going to get to play a lot. We can work with his game. … I definitely think he deserves a good chance, and he’s going to get it. I’m not ready to send him to the Minor Leagues yet. I’m not ready to say this guy is going to the Minor Leagues. I want to take a good look at him.”

On Ruben Amaro Jr. saying the bullpen is the top priority: “I think he’s definitely right. I agree with that. We could use a lefty in the pen, but I’d rather have the best pitcher we can find.”

On Ryan Howard showing more power next season: “It wasn’t a Ryan Howard year, but I look for Ryan to come back and have a big year. I look at Ryan as a 40-50 home run guy and about 125 to 140 RBIs. That’s kind of who he is. The fact that he hit 31, knocked in 108 or something. He finished the season with a bad ankle. I’m not making any excuses, we don’t use excuses, but I feel like that was his back side. He was not using his legs at the end of the year. When he came back he didn’t use his legs at all.”

On Jimmy Rollins bouncing back after struggling in recent seasons: “Before the season was over I talked to Jimmy a few times about his season and what he’s going to do. He knows exactly what he has to do and where he’s at from a conditioning standpoint, taking care of himself. He revealed to me that he wanted to play another six years. We talked about things that he had to do, and I told him how he’s got to go about it. We’ll see. Jimmy Rollins is a very talented player. We need him to have a Jimmy Rollins year. That’s all.”

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Werth $126 Million; Now What?

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Jayson Werth wore black to an October news conference at Citizens Bank Park.

The color of clothing proved prophetic.

Werth, who had become a fan favorite during four successful seasons with the Phillies, spoke like a man who knew his time in Philadelphia had come to an end. It officially ended today, when he signed a colossal seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. MLB.com first reported the impending deal. CSNPhilly.com reported the Phillies offered Werth a three-year contract with an average annual value of $16 million and an option for a fourth year.

A source told MLB.com the vesting option would have increased the value of the contract to $60 million.

Even if the option had vested for the 2014 season, the Nationals offered $66 million more than the Phillies with an average annual value of $18 million.

The Phillies never had a chance.

“We felt that we offered him a significant contract such that we had a chance to bring him back,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said tonight at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “But clearly, at the end of the day it was about trying to get the best contract he could and I think he did.”

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Werth Signs with Nationals

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Jayson Werth has signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

Sources told MLB.com this afternoon Werth’s agent Scott Boras was close to a deal with the Nationals. The Nationals figure to have money to spend after losing free agent Adam Dunn to the Chicago White Sox. Werth would help replace Dunn’s bat in the middle of the Nationals lineup.

It also would create a hole in the Phillies lineup. Werth had an .889 on-base-plus-slugging percentage the past three seasons, which ranked 10th in baseball for right-handed hitters and fifth among right-handed-hitting outfielders. His 87 home runs ranked eighth among right-handed hitters and second among right-handed-hitting outfielders (Ryan Braun ranked first with 94 homers).

Werth also stole 53 bases and played good defense.

The Phillies figured to lose Werth via free agency, so they already have been looking at alternate plans. One is staying in-house with Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown or Ross Gload platooning in right field. The other is going outside and bringing in somebody like Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Carlos Quentin, Scott Hairston and possibly others.

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Werth Declines Arbitration

werth at the cage.jpgThe Phillies expected this. So did everybody else.

Jayson Werth declined salary arbitration with the Phillies before tonight’s midnight deadline.

The news is hardly surprising. Werth is expecting to land a once-in-a-lifetime contract as one of the top two free agent outfielders on the market (Carl Crawford is the other). Accepting arbitration meant Werth would have been signed to a one-year contract with the Philllies. The only way that would have happened (and made sense) would have been if the market had not existed for him.

Phillies fans might recall Boras had Kevin Millwood accept arbitration with the Phillies in 2003, when there was no market for him.

That shouldn’t be the case for Werth with teams like the Red Sox and Angels interested.

The Phillies will get two draft picks if Werth signs elsewhere as expected: the team’s top available pick and a sandwich pick between the first and second round.

Declining arbitration does not prevent the Phillies from trying to resign Werth. They can continue to talk with Boras about a deal. But it’s my belief the Phillies won’t go more than four years for Werth with Boras and Werth looking for a longer, more lucrative contract.

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