Of RF Jayson Werth’s new, $126 million, 7-year pact with Washington, the WaPo’s Adam Kilgore opines the Nats have completed “a sudden move that enhanced their credibility as an immediate contender androbbed the division rival Philadelphia Phillies of one of their best players.” It’s also a contract that presumes Werth will continue to improve late into his 30’s, which is either a tremendous gamble on the part of Washington GM Mike Rizzo or tacit acknowledgment the team believes that HGH will soon become part of the (legal) pregame spread. At least one early comparison to Kevin Brown’s last (insane) contract was made, though Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan prefers to live in the modern era, stating, “the Nationals socked the sport in the face Sunday.”
All it takes is one team “ one with a complex or a dream “ to upend the entire damn thing. And while the Werth contract won™t change everything, just as the Alex Rodriguez(notes) deal didn™t, just as the Zito pact didn™t, just as all of the previous albatrosses didn™t, the standard it sets in the present frightens the financially prudent.
A player whom Baseball-Reference.com compares to Brad Hawpe, Kal Daniels, Corey Hart, Curtis Granderson and Juan Rivera received what could be the contract of the decade. Werth is a far better player than those five, sure, but he hasn™t had the career of Matt Holliday, for whom Boras could secure only seven years and $120 million last season.
The visit from Nationals owners Ted and Mark Lerner couldn™t have hurt. Werth is extremely intelligent, well-spoken and, despite the scraggly beard that adorns his face, presentable. Though Boras didn™t go into details about the Lerners™ trip to California to meet Werth, it™s easy to envision him charming the hell out of them.
Charm, apparently, costs more per ounce than gold. Because a player who convention figured would struggle to get nine figures is now sitting on a $126 million pile of cash, and the rest of the market is readying to readjust, aftershocks certain to follow, namely with Carl Crawford and the eight years and $160 million for which he can reasonably ask.