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Monday, December 6, 2010

Jayson Werth Leaves for Nationals

I don’t report news on this blog because it just doesn’t make any sense. It would be borderline absurd to think anyone is reading Rob Q. Ink to get the news.

I react. I throw out opinions. Hopefully those opinions are a little more thought out than some guy calling sports talk radio and offer an interesting twist apart from what everybody else is saying or blogging.

By now we all know that Jayson Werth signed a 7-year, $127 million contract with the Washington Nationals over the weekend. If I wasn’t trying to move this blog to another level with more frequent posts, I honestly wouldn’t have given this more than a moment of thought.

Werth was a nice player on a team that won a World Series and was a legitimate contender – and will continue to be – for several years. But that’s it. Nice.

I have no problem with any of the people involved with the deal. The Nationals are trying to make a splash as a team that showed a modicum of promise last year. I think they’ve essentially missed by making Werth a cornerstone player, and may have actually set themselves back depending on how much the franchise has to spend on other players. But so be it.

Werth made it clear at the end of the season that he was going for the money. Despite my opinion on the signing, I actually think the Nats could be decent in the next few years, so I’m not like other fans who seem to be suggesting he doesn’t care at all about winning. Certainly, it’s not his top priority, but the reality is that players want to make money just like most people.

While 97.5’s Mike Missanelli gets riled up when fans say this, I’m also ok with the Phillies not over paying Werth. As I write, he has offered his famous, “What do you care how much the Phillies make?” line to a caller making the same point. Here’s why you should care – the Phillies work within a budget. Whether they need to or not, whether it’s flexible or not, they leave zero doubt that they have their own internal salary cap. Breaking the bank on Jayson Werth absolutely would have meant the Phillies weren’t going to sign someone else at that level.

Reports are that other teams are upset with the Nationals for this contract because it raises the bar for everyone else. That doesn’t happen when guys like Ryan Howard or Alex Rodriguez sign. It happens when guys like Werth sign for numbers approaching what the truly elite players get.

Ultimately, what the Phillies do to replace Werth will go a long way in determining if they made the right call in not offering more than the Nats. But for now, I think they made the right call.

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