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Pay Werth His Worth

werth 21 Pay Werth His WorthSometime tonight, tomorrow night, or the next day, Jayson Werth is going to hit another home run, or steal another base, or make another sensational running catch on a ball that few Major League outfielders could get. Sometime over this week, the following week, or the week after that, Jayson Werth is going to continue doing the things that have been helping the Phillies win. Sometime from now until October, the Phillies and Werth are going to continually get pelted with questions as to whether Werth is going to be resigned.

Our hairy hero may be a cross between Captain Caveman and the Clint Eastwood character in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, but one thing is certain, Werth is currently one of the top five players in the National League today.

And let’s get something straight: Not resigning Werth would be a monumental mistake by the Phillies. You don’t have to be a baseball expert to figure that one out. Not resigning Werth would also send a message to Phillies fans that just quite possibly the greatest team in franchise history is content on where it is–nestled deep in the arms of the Philadelphia fandom–happy to be competitive and nothing more.

It goes back to my argument that’s been stated a number of times in this very space: Are the Phillies happy to be just good, or is this a team willing to stretch itself and be great–like the Yankees and Red Sox?

We’ve already been privy to where the Phillies are leaning when they let Cliff Lee go. Yes, it’s scary to think what will happen if they let Werth go. There’s only so much good will Phillie fans are willing to tolerate. What could complicate it even more is if Werth is the MVP of the National League.

It’s not too farfetched.

Consider the following: Werth leads the National League in doubles with 16, is third in the NL in hitting with a .349 average, is second in slugging percentage at .688 and remains one of the defensive stalwarts in baseball, second among all NL rightfielders with 3 assists, after leading all NL rightfielders in 2009 with 327 putouts.

Simply said, the guy can do it all–and has been doing it over these last two years. The Phillies right now are throwing out the hints that resigning Werth would go beyond their budget. Last time I looked, world champions didn’t have a budget. Last time I looked, world championship organizations do whatever it takes to keep world championship teams intact–and rarely let key cogs, like Werth, slip away.

No, you don’t have to be a baseball genius or a high-powered Major League executive to know Jayson Werth is a special player. In fact, signing Werth shouldn’t even be a point of discussion. It’s as much of a no-brainer as there is.

  • PhilliesFan

    I totally agree with everything you said. Werth NEEDS to be resigned, because he is a vital part of the phillies ball club. He is a great player, and with the very high possibility that Ibanez will be leaving after next season, Werth needs to stay.

  • billy fink

    Thanks Barry! They can always trade Ibanez or just have him restructure his salary for 2011, to free up more money for Werth (then load his contract with incentives). They are no longer a “small Market” team, they are now part of the main four: bosox, Skanks, Mets. GO PHILS!

  • Hank Jansen

    Keep Werth at all costs

  • frank

    Are the Phillies going to go back to the days of being cheap and stupid? Werth is an investment they can not let go.There will be Moyer money, get rid of Ibanez. Don’t break up a great team with politics.

  • John Mimmo

    I am quite sure that if the Phillies questioned their clintele they would be willing to pay more for tickets to keep key players like Jason Werth in the fold.

  • jfritz

    Resigning Werth is an absolute no-brainer! Of course, so was keeping Cliff Lee. At least that one you could kinda-sorta justify. If they’re gonna keep Ryan Howard, they definitely need to keep Werth and his all round game.

  • JC

    1st of all I agree with the philosophy of most elite organizations that very, very few starting pitchers are worth the risk of deals longer than 3-4 years. Too much can go wrong to risk tying up payroll. Everyday position players is another story.

    They can resign Werth to a 4-5 year deal if they are creative. That might mean getting some key players (i.e. Howard, Utley) to restructure to defer some of their contract money over the next 2-3 years. And they shouldn’t extend Jimmy Rollins yet. Let’s see how he comes back this year and plays in 2011. Yes, they must trade Raul Ibanez if they can get someone to take his salary. Otherwise, it might involve having to trade Shane Victorino who may bring more value.

    I don’t think we should read too much into the public statements. Let’s see what they do. Who knows, maybe if they’ll get a chance to get Roy Oswalt (if Houston eats some of his contract for the next 2 years) for the post-season drive, win the WS they can work to sign Werth to a 4 year deal if they move some other parts around..

  • zack

    Can’t “let Ibanez go” since he’s under contract for 2011. Victorino is due $7M in 2011, Trade slap hitting Victorino for pitching and catching prospects, and use that money to increase Worth to $14-15M per. Bring up Dom Brown for 2011. Who would you rather have Victorino hitting 7th, or Jason Worth hitting behind Ryan Howard. Ibanez goes away and money comes off books in 2012 so you can use that if needed in 2012 for J Roll.

  • jtlancaster

    Whatever Matt Holliday was werth, Jayson is werth more. Holliday signed a 7-year, $120 million deal–that’s $17.1 million per. Given that Jayson also plays defense, Give him $20 million per for seven, makes him higher-paid than Holliday (and I’d sure rather have Jayson). Step up, Phils. Someone will give him that money. Might as well be us.

  • Phillyphandoc

    For a couple years I thought it would be a bad idea since we had a couple of stud outfielders down on the farm and since you need someone to protect Howard, I said we didn’t need to resign him. But since Taylor is gone, and Brown is ripping it up right now in Reading and is still a few years away to helping the team. We need to resign him. Is he worth what the Holiday’s and Bay’s got??? Who knows. But at least try to sign him.

  • A. Macarthur

    Management should, without making it public, ask the highest paid players if they would be willing to give a portion of their individual salaries back to the team for the expressed purpose of signing Werth – they should have done it to keep Cliff Lee.

    How much does a human being need (Werth included)? But if keeping Werth increases the probability of future World Series Championships, possibly the players “donating” back salary would deem it an “investment” – some eventual payback coming with subsequent championships.

    A. Macarthur

  • barry

    Can’t agree more with Billy. Let Ibanez go because of his age. Werth is well worth what a younger top flight outfielder is being paid. The article mentioned nothing about his base running (last Phil to steal home) or ability to play CF also. Not to mention he is the emergency catcher or the team.

  • Gar

    Clearly his wrist is no longer an issue. The team more than likely will backfill his contract. (If they resign him) Look at Moyer and Ibanez making 8 mil and 11 mil respectively. It can be done. Question is will it get done.

  • David

    If they don’t sign Werth, I AM DONE. Because that will show me all I need to know. That they just want to fill the stadium and be just good enough to do so. He is arguably, the best player on this team right now, and that is saying a lot !

  • Walt1

    Moyer goes after this yr, Ibanez next yr and the Phils can sign Werth. This franchise has the opportunity to make PHILADELPHIA HISTORY like no other professional team has and will be immortalized. Do the right thing Dave, Reuben, and other partners….make yourselves and this city PROUD!!

  • billy fink

    I could not agree more, moyer will be coming off the booiks, I am sure there is Adam Eaton money lyig around. Let ibanez go, bring up Dominic Brown AND SIGN WERTH!

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