Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’

A Quiet Winter for the Phillies?

amaro in the stands.jpg

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.)


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.


Phillies to Offer Werth Arbitration, Not Durbin

durbin pumped.jpgA source said today the Phillies will offer salary arbitration to Jayson Werth, who is a Type A free agent, but not to Chad Durbin, who is a Type B free agent.

The decision on Werth hardly comes as a surprise. If he signs with another team as expected – the Phillies have had talks with Scott Boras, but he is expected to find a bigger deal elsewhere – the Phillies will receive two picks: a team’s top available pick (either a first or second-round selection based on their 2010 record) and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.

If the Phillies had offered Durbin arbitration and he signed elsewhere, the Phillies would have received a sandwich pick.

It makes complete sense to offer Werth arbitration because there is no downside. If Werth declines arbitration and signs elsewhere they get the picks. If Werth accepts arbitration, which is highly unlikely, they automatically get Werth to return next season on a one-year contract. (The Phillies absolutely would love that to happen.)


Four Phillies Get MVP Votes

Joey Votto deservedly won the NL MVP with 31 first-place votes and 443 points.

Albert Pujols finished second with one first-place vote and 279 points. The rest of the top five included: Carlos Gonzalez (240), Adrian Gonzalez (197) and Troy Tulowitzki (132).

The Phillies had four players receive MVP votes:

  • Roy Halladay finished sixth with 130 points.
  • Jayson Werth finished eighth with 52 points.
  • Ryan Howard finished 10th with 50 points.
  • Carlos Ruiz finished 17th with 12 points.

Twenty-seven players received votes. The Phillies were the only team with four players receiving votes.


The Dodgers have hired Davey Lopes as their first base coach.


Halladay and Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young last week, which made the Phillies, Mariners and Cardinals the only three teams to win the four major postseason awards in the last 10 years.

The Phillies won the MVP in 2006 (Ryan Howard) and 2007 (Jimmy Rollins), Cy Young in 2010 (Halladay), Rookie of the Year in 2005 (Howard) and Manager of the Year in 2001 (Larry Bowa). The Cardinals won the MVP in 2005, 2008 and 2009 (Albert Pujols), Cy Young in 2005 (Chris Carpenter), Rookie of the Year in 2001 (Pujols) and Manager of the Year in 2002 (Tony La Russa). The Mariners won the MVP in 2001 (Ichiro Suzuki), Cy Young in 2010 (Hernandez), Rookie of the Year in 2001 (Suzuki) and and Manager of the Year in 2001 (Lou Piniella).


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Phillies, Contreras Could Be Close to Deal

Jose Contreras is one free agent the Phillies want to see in red pinstripes in 2011.

They could be close. reported Sunday night the Phillies are nearing a two-year, $5 million contract with Contreras. The report also said Contreras could receive a third year in an option based on performance incentives.

Contreras, 38, went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 67 appearances this season – his first full season as a relief pitcher. He quickly became a favorite for Charlie Manuel, picking up three of his four saves in May when Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson were on the disabled list.

The Phillies have seven free agents, and Contreras has been the most likely to resign. The Phillies also are interested in bringing back rightfielder Jayson Werth and right-hander Chad Durbin. The Phillies have had discussions about Werth, although it is believed he will sign elsewhere. Durbin could be back, depending on what kind of deals he can find elsewhere.


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Hitting the Open Market

Thumbnail image for Werth0036.jpgJayson Werth hits the open market in less than 24 hours.

That should not surprise anybody. Werth was not going to sign a contract during his exclusive negotiating period with the Phillies. But beginning at midnight Saturday anybody from any team can contact any player, including Werth.

I still don’t think Werth resigns with the Phillies.

Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent, said yesterday it doesn’t have to be that way.

“The Yankees are a Goliath,” Boras said. “George (Steinbrenner) built them with the idea of the word ‘best.’ The Phillies are now Goliaths. The reality of it is they have the ability to do what they need to do to retain their players. It’s merely a matter of choice. It’s not a matter of good business because I think everybody would agree they’ve made some really good business decisions. They’ve all proven to be fruitful economically as far as franchise value increase, future television negotiations, fans. Everything is going well. Somebody asked me if they can have a $200 million payroll? Of course they could. It would be good business to do so.”


A Few Offseason Questions

Thumbnail image for werth 1012.jpgI’ve been away for a few days, so I haven’t blogged since last week. My apologies.

I’ve gotten plenty of questions about the Phillies’ offseason since their season ended. I’ll try to answer some of those questions the best I can.

Question: Are the Phillies going to resign Jayson Werth?
Answer: No, I don’t think they will. Somebody is going to give Werth a big contract. I don’t think he’ll get the seven-year, $120 million contract Matt Holliday got from the Cardinals, but he’ll get paid. The only way I see Werth returning is if the market simply isn’t there for him and he surpisingly accepts salary arbitration from the Phillies (Kevin Millwood surprised the Phillies when he accepted salary arbitration in 2003) or the Phillies get him at a team-friendly price. I don’t see either scenario happening.


Phillies Contact Boras

boras.jpgRuben Amaro Jr. said Monday the Phillies would call Scott Boras before the end of the week.

They’ve called.


“There’s really not much to say,” Amaro said. “We’re not going to have a public discussion with what’s happening with Jayson (Werth), but we have touched based and we’ll see where it goes from here.”

It has been speculated Boras, who Werth hired as his agent last month, could seek a contract in the neighborhood of the seven-year, $120 million contract outfielder Matt Holliday signed last winter with the St. Louis Cardinals. If Boras cannot land that, Werth could fall somewhere in line with the four-year, $66 million contract outfielder Jason Bay signed last winter with the New York Mets.

Either way, it is believed Werth will not be back in 2011. The Phillies have nearly $145 million committed to 16 players next season, and Amaro said during Monday’s news conference he needs to inject some youth into the roster. With every other starter under contract and expected back next season, the only place the Phillies could get younger in the lineup is right field.

The Phillies have exclusive negotiating rights with Werth until five days after the World Series, but it is almost a certainty there will be no agreement before then. Boras certainly will test Werth’s value on the open market.


Former Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson interviewed Thursday for the same job with the Seattle Mariners, according to his agent.


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(Not) The Last Word on Werth

Thumbnail image for werth 01.jpg
Thumbnail image for werth 1025 2010.jpgDo I think Jayson Werth will be back next season?

No, I don’t.

I don’t think the Phillies expect him back, and I don’t think Werth expects to be back. I think the writing has been on the wall for months.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has said several times he cannot have a roster full of $15 million-a-year players, which Werth aims to be. The Phillies already have roughly $145 million committed to 16 players next season. Assuming Werth lands a contract between Jason Bay‘s four-year, $66 million deal and Matt Holliday‘s seven-year, $120 million deal, I just don’t see how it fits.

The Phillies could move some players to clear salary for Werth, but I think it’s unlikely. I’ve gotten e-mails like, “Just trade Raul Ibanez. There’s $11.5 million right there.” Really? Just trade Ibanez and have a team pick up his entire salary? Just like that?

But I think the Phillies will miss Werth’s bat. Werth had an .889 OPS the past three seasons, which ranked 10th in baseball for right-handed hitters. His 87 home runs ranked eighth among right-handed hitters. He played good defense. He stole 53 bases. He had a career-high .921 OPS this season, which was best on the team. And while he struggled with runners in scoring position, I do think it’s an anomaly.

He will be tough to replace, unless Domonic Brown develops incredibly quickly. He had a 1.083 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Ben Francisco had a .901 OPS against left-handed pitchers. If Brown can hit right-handers and Francisco can hit left-handers it just might work. But after hearing Amaro express his concerns about an everyday lineup with everybody in their 30s — everybody in that lineup had subpar seasons other than Werth and Carlos Ruiz — it is a risk.


Amaro Talks Werth, Getting Old and More

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Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters for nearly 30 minutes today about everything from Jayson Werth to concerns about the age of his lineup. Here are the most interesting things he said:

Q: How much will it cost to bring Werth back?
A: I have not had any discussions with Scott (Boras) yet. I obviously will (talk to him) over the next 48 hours or so. We’ll make contact. I guess the follow up question are, do we have enough money to do it? And would we like to bring him back? I think the answers to both questions are yes. However that will depend on what the ask is and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that.

Q: Are years an issue?
A: I think length is always an issue. It’s probably the most poignant issue always. Pat Gillick said this to me and I think it rings true. Anytime you get these extraordinary long contracts you have to weigh not only that person’s production on the field and off the field, that person’s affect on the club, long term and short term, both on and off the field, and also what that player brings to your organization beyond production. These are all things you have to weigh, and we’ll do the same with Jayson.

Q: Would you go more than three years?
A: I’m not sure yet. I don’t know yet.

Q: sn’t that an issue?
A:I don’t know until I talk to Scott.

Q: When you look at the core of your team, they’re all in their 30s. Are you worried they’re all going to get old at the same time?
A: I worry every day.