Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’

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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A Quiet Winter for the Phillies?

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If everything is happening like it seems to be happening, the Phillies’ offseason checklist looks like this:

  1. Improve the bullpen.
  2. Resign Jayson Werth (or find his replacement).
  3. Find a replacement on the bench for Greg Dobbs.
  4. Acquire starting pitching depth.

Nowhere on that list are the words, “Shake up the lineup,” or, “Move some pieces around.” No, if everybody is to be believed, the Phillies could be relatively quiet the remainder of the offseason, certainly compared to winters past when they acquired Roy Halladay, Raul Ibanez, Brad Lidge, etc.

“Right now, I’m actually pretty pleased with what we have,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday. “That doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with where we’re at. We do need to try to improve our bullpen and give ourselves more depth and such, but if we were to open the season today I would feel very confident with what kind of team we would be fielding. I still think it’s a championship-caliber type of club.”

Based on e-mails, tweets and Facebook messages, some fans think the Phillies need to make a big move. I don’t get the sense they will. It sounds like the only big move they might make is resigning Werth, although nearly nobody in baseball expects that to happen. (Disclaimer: Amaro said before, during and after last year’s Winter Meetings they were not in the hunt for Halladay and a few days later they made one of the biggest trades in franchise history — not only trading for Halladay, but trading away Cliff Lee. In other words, just because the Phillies said it could be quiet doesn’t mean it will be quiet.)

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Heard Any Good Rumors Lately?

werth playoffs.jpgIf Jayson Werth is going to sign a contract with the Phillies or anybody else, it will not happen in the next couple days.

A report in Philadelphia this weekend indicated Werth could be close to accepting a deal with the Phillies, but it needed to happen by Tuesday. But one source said tonight the reports were untrue. Werth is not close to signing with the Phillies – or anybody else – and there is no deadline for him to make a decision.

The Phillies have been talking with Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent. If the Phillies have not yet made an offer they certainly have discussed the framework for a deal.

If the Phillies have made an offer, a contract in the three- or four-year range is a smart bet. The Phillies signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension this year, but Chase Utley (seven years) and Jimmy Rollins (five years) are the only other current players the Phillies have signed to deals longer than three years, not including option years.

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