Pay Werth His Worth
Sometime 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.