Werth signs with Nationals; Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox is DONE! Marcum to the Brewers!
Looks like it’s the Washington National’s turn to make a big splash in the free-agent market. The club has announced the signing off free-agent outfielder Jason Werth to a 7-year, $126-million contract.
Are you kidding me?
$126-MILLION FOR JASON WERTH? Carl Crawford must be smiling right about now! Imagine what he’s going to get? Werth is coming off a 2010 campaign which saw him hit .296 with 27 home runs and 85 RBIs for the Philadelphia Phillies. While I’m not denying that Werth had a great season, does hitting 27 home runs with 87 RBI’s justify such a ridiculous contract?
In 2006 the Toronto Blue Jays signed Vernon Wells to the very same contract. While Vernon does have similar talent, he isn’t worth that kind of money and now the Jays are stuck with him. Not even the fat wallets of the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets or Cubs want to pay that salary and trade for Wells.
Considering that Werth will be 32 this year, I’m not sure if such a long contract was such a good idea. However, I’m sure that Werth will end up playing two or three seasons in Washington, and eventually end up in either Boston or New York once the Nationals need to dump salary. The Red Sox have always been leery of such long contracts, which seemed to be the issue with their most recent attempt at a trade and the subsequent contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez.
It appears as though the deal has hit a snag. The 24-hour window for a contract extension has expired, putting the entire trade between the Red Sox and Padres in jeopardy. Rumor has it that Gonzalez would like an 8-year deal, similar to the one that Mark Texeira signed with the Yankees two seasons ago. After losing Werth to the Nationals, I think the Red Sox realized they had no choice but to give in and give Gonzalez the deal he wanted.
Of course, the back-up plan could be to sign Beltre and leave Youkilis at first base, which would be the cheaper alternative. However, adding a hitter and gold glove caliber first baseman like Gonzalez is just what the Red Sox need to replace the departed Victor Martinez.
The Blue Jays have also been part of the trade rumours. Their staff ace of last season, Shaun Marcum, has reportedly been dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for prospects, including 2008 first round pick Brett Lawrie. Lawrie is a young Canadian shortstop who is about 2 years away from being a big league regular. There are rumours that Jays GM Alex Anthopolous is going to use the prospects he receives in the deal for a move to get Zach Greinke. It remains to be seen what happens, but moves are happening and things are getting exciting!