Results tagged ‘ Jeff Borris ’
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.”
Cliff Lee‘s impending free agency and Jayson Werth‘s impending free agency seem like two totally separate issues, and in most respects they are. But it is evident the Phillies think Werth will be difficult to resign, which is why they have explored trading him – although I don’t see it happening if the Phillies remain in contention in the NL East.
So what happens if the Phillies keep Werth and they can’t resign him after the season? (Werth could be looking for more than $100 million on the open market.) The Phillies could use the money earmarked for Werth to make a run at Lee, although that will be difficult for a couple reasons: First, one of the reasons the Phillies traded Lee in December is because they felt he would be tough to sign to an extension. That probably has not changed. Second, the Phillies will be competing with the Yankees, Red Sox, etc., on the open market.
But Lee said today the trade that sent him to Seattle has not soured him on the Phillies.
“I’m not soured by that at all,” he said. “It’s a business. They decided that the best thing for the Phillies was to trade me to replenish the farm system. They felt like that was the best move. You can’t knock them for that. They didn’t have to trade for me to come there in the first place. Yeah, I’m not opposed to coming back to the Phillies in the future at all. I’m not opposed to playing for any team. If 29 other teams don’t want me and the Phillies are the only team that wants me, I’ll be a Phillie.”
Lee stumbled when asked if he would pursue the Phillies in the offseason.
“That’s down the road,” he said. “Right now I’m a Mariner … or a, uh … right now I’m a Ranger. Right now I’m a Ranger. I was so used to saying that, so, I’m a Ranger and I’m going to be a Ranger until hopefully we win the World Series. And when that’s over I’ll weight all of my options and see what happens. It’s really that simple.”
Lee is aware Phillies fans remain upset that he is not in the same rotation with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.
Lee gets it.
“They’ve been struggling,” Lee said. “They’re underperforming. When they’re doing that it’s easy to look back and say they should have done this or they should have done that. Anyone can do that. When you have to make those kinds of decisions it’s tough when everyone critiques you, especially when the team is underperforming. All that kind of stuff is magnified. If they were in first place by eight games nobody would say a word about it. I think their struggles are mostly due to injuries. Not because they traded me away. If everybody in their lineup stayed healthy all year they would be in a lot better spot. There’s no doubt about it.”
The Phillies are expected to leave the Winter Meetings today without any additions to their bullpen. They certainly will not leave with Brandon Lyon, who had been one of their top targets. He agreed to terms late last night on a reported three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Astros.
“We hope we’re making some headway,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday afternoon.
With Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre or other free agents?
“Likely to be outside guys,” Amaro said.
Amaro said Park and Eyre remain in play, although he also said he cannot wait forever for them to agree to terms.
“There’s a possibility we’ll move past them at some point if something doesn’t get done, yeah,” he said.
But Park and Eyre cannot wait forever, either. Eyre, who has decided he wants to play next season, has received interest from at least three other teams, including the Yankees and Astros. While Eyre’s preference is to play in Philadelphia, he is willing to play elsewhere if contract discussions with the Phillies stall.
Park also has no shortage of suitors.
“He loved his time in Philly,” said Park’s agent, Jeff Borris. “He had a tremendous amount of fun playing in the World Series. He would love to come back to Philadelphia, but he’s happy as long as he’s got a Major League uniform on. I wouldn’t characterize our discussions one way or another. I haven’t put any deadlines or restrictions on Ruben. He hasn’t done the same to us. I would say that both parties are working in good faith, but Chan Ho has other options that he has to explore.”
I know Amaro said yesterday that the Phillies probably wouldn’t get involved in anything big, like a trade for Roy Halladay, but I still think if the asking price drops they will be in the hunt. We’ll see if the price drops.
But what does Park want?
“I want to be a starter again,” Park said in The Korea Times earlier this month. ”Being a starter is more attractive for me, because I can take over a whole game.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Park is a reliever as far as he has been told from Park’s agency.
“His preference is to go to a winning ball club,” said Park’s agent, Jeff Borris. “There are some clubs that are interested in Chan Ho as a starter. There are some clubs that are interested in Chan Ho solely as a reliever, which would be the Philies. There are some clubs that see him as somebody with some swingman attributes, where he could perform in both roles. We’re really not shutting the door on any possibilities right now.”
Park talked extensively during spring training about how much he valued starting because his fellow Koreans could watch him pitch. Obviously, watching him is much more difficult when he is a relief pitcher.
But he also was much more successful as a relief pitcher in 2009. He beat J.A. Happ for the final spot in the rotation in spring training, but went 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in seven starts before the Phillies moved him to the bullpen. Park went 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 38 relief appearances.
“I’ve been pleased with the response that we’re getting on him,” Borris said.