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Jayson Werth Is Outta Here!!

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS/AP) — Right fielder Jayson Werth agreed Sunday to a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals, a huge deal announced even before the winter meetings officially began.

The 31-year-old, who helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series title, hit .296 this year in his fourth and final season with the Phillies. He had an NL-high 46 doubles, 27 homers and 85 RBIs.

“It kind of exemplifies phase two of the Washington Nationals’ process,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Phase one was scouting and player development, building the farm system. … Now it’s the time to go to the second phase and really compete for division titles and championships.”

Rich Westcott, president of the Philadelphia Sportswriters Association, was shocked that Werth chose the Nationals.

“The talk was that he was most likely gonna go to the Boston Red Sox, but to sign a 7-year-deal with the Nationals, to me, is quite surprising. I would not have predicted that.”

Werth moves from the team that has won four straight NL East titles to one that finished last this year at 69-93 and hasn’t had a winning record since 2003 — the franchise’s next-to-last season as the Montreal Expos.

“The Nationals certainly don’t draw all that well, and as a team they haven’t played all that well, in recent years, or since they went to Washington, so I think that’s a strange place for a guy with his talent to want to wind up,” said Westcott.

Werth’s agreement was announced two days after the Nationals’ cleanup hitter, Adam Dunn, left for a $56 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Werth’s deal was negotiated by agent Scott Boras, who also negotiated big-money agreements with the Nationals for the last two No. 1 picks in the amateur draft, pitcher Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and catcher-outfielder Bryce Harper this year.

“We think he’s going to be a big piece of the puzzle,” Rizzo said. “We certainly have more holes to fill. We had more work to do, and we’re certainly aggressively going on from here and beyond.”

Boras said talks began just before Thanksgiving when Nationals owners Ted Lerner and Mark Lerner met with Werth at Boras’ office in Newport Beach, Calif. The sides reached a preliminary agreement Friday.

Werth played for Toronto (2002-03) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2004-05) before becoming an All-Star with the Phillies in 2009.

“For Jayson this was a decision where he certainly wanted to know that this was place that was not only going to take every step possible to sign young players in the draft, as they’ve exhibited, but also take steps a core system in the minor leagues and also take further steps and advance in the free-agent process so that he could be surrounded by quality major leaguers in addition to those already present in the Nationals organization.”

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, who didn’t know the deal had been finalized until just before it was announced, was the Dodgers bench coach while Werth played for Los Angeles.

“We got the inside scoop on who the man is and who the person is,” Rizzo said. “Jim is a great judge of character and clubhouse presence. He was very flowery in his praise in Jayson on and off the field. He feels, like I feel, Jayson’s best days haven’t been had yet.”

Werth is the grandson of Ducky Schofield and nephew of Dick Schofield, a minor league teammate of Rizzo. In addition, Rizzo has scouted Werth since he played high-school ball.

“I’ve been a fan of his lineage and his family,” Rizzo said.

Reported by: Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


One Comment

  1. Tony says:

    Owners are the ones who take the business risks too. Not taking up for them but for me, my boss makes a heck of a lot more per year then I do. I think athletes pay scales would be a little more fair if they all received a base salary and if you attain certain goals, a bonus goes along with that. Werth could bat .250 for the next 7 years and still make that crazy amount of money. Unbelievable to say the least.

  2. Bill says:

    @Larry–Owners make hundreds of millions of dollars EVERY YEAR!! Year IN and year OUT!!! Their careers don’t end if they break a leg or get old and out of shape. Since this is the $tate of affairs, I think all players should get what the market will bear. They would be foolish to do anything else.


    im with you, I had season tickets (16 game plan ) from 1977 to about 1992, when the players went on strike.

    Now it appears the NFL will not be playing next year. What ever will I do on the
    weekends, ?????

  4. Larry says:

    The whole thing is ridiculous. No athlete is worth $18 million a year. Sports is so out of control. The huge salaries are paid by the common man who can barely afford to take his family to the park for a game, let alone pay outrageous concession prices like $4 for a bottled water. I have been a sports fan my whole life, but I find myself caring about sports less and less each year. I guess I’m getting tired of watching a bunch of cry-baby millionaires. The 2010 MLB league minimum is 8 times the average household (not individual) income. The average individual salary for the team with the lowest payroll in MLB is 25 times the average household. The argument that this money needs to last them the rest of their life is not valid because there are broadcast and coaching jobs for retired players. There are more opportunities to make money for a retired athlete than someone who holds a Master’s degree.
    I know players love the game, and it’s not their fault that things have gotten this far out of control. Maybe we should all boycott sports for a few years and start over.

  5. Tony says:

    Good luck Jason, except against the Phil’s. You’ve worked very hard to put yourself in this position and now you’re reaping the benefits.

  6. BJS says:

    Boy, are the Nat’s brass a bunch of dumba$$e$. I have some nice swampland I’d like to sell to them!

  7. lin says:

    I guess my Werth t-shirt is worthless. He won’t get anywhere with the Nationals. They don’t have the heart and soul that the Phillies have. His attitude sucked this year anyway!

  8. AJW says:

    Are the Nats out of their head? How will they pay him when they can’t even fill the stadium? This is as crazy as the deals made by the Yankees. Good riddance Werthless!!!

  9. W.P.B. says:

    Sorry to se Jayson leave the Phils. He will be missed both as a player and a personality.




  11. Scott Sliwinski says:

    At least Jayson Werth can now afford a HUGE TV to watch the playoffs for the next 7 years….

  12. Joysie says:

    Most would do the same for self and family. I enjoyed watching him play and develop into a great player while here. Good luck Jason, except when you play the Phillies!

  13. mike in Philly says:

    What a shame to see him go… you would think players would want to stay on a team that has been doing great, but instead he goes to the Nationals?? Clearly, this is about HIS money and HIM… this is not good for HIM, or the Phillies… but the Phils can bounce back without him, that would be nice to see while the Nationals do nothing…

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