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Posted at 10:25 PM ET, 12/ 5/2010

More on the Nationals signing of Jayson Werth

By Adam Kilgore

There are a million different angles from which to look at the Nationals' signing of Jayson Werth. Let's look at a few we haven't covered yet and won't be covered in detail in tomorrow's birdcage liner story:

*Mike Rizzo wants a team built on defense and speed: If Rizzo had not already made it clear enough that he values athleticism, the events of the past three days - with Adam Dunn walking and Werth coming aboard - have cemented that. Rizzo would not offer Dunn a fourth year, and he gave Werth a seventh. The main reason is, Werth has the skill set Rizzo desires, and Werth Dunn does not.

"As I said all along, I love Adam Dunn," Rizzo said. "I love what he brings in the dugout, on the field, in the clubhouse. But we have a plan in place. We had a price point where Adam Dunn made sense for us, and beyond that the term and the dollars didn't make sense.

"As I've said before, I've got a philosophy that we're imploring into our ballclub of pitching, speed, defense, athleticism. We feel that's how championship-caliber ball clubs in the National League are built. At a certain price point, that made sense. Beyond that, it didn't. We've taken those principles and brought in Jayson Werth because he exemplifies that type of player."

*Scott Boras helped the Nationals land Werth: This summer, with free agency looming, Werth switched agents and hired Boras. Shortly thereafter, a team that had finished last in the National League East three straight years started looking pretty desirable.

"About the same time I hired Scott was about the same time we started talking about the Nationals and possible suitors," Werth said. "Obviously, the Phillies had opportunities to sign me long-term, and when that didn't look like that was going to happen, it was about the same time I hired Scott. So right off the bat we were talking about possible suitors for me through free agency, and the Nationals were a team that was at the top of the list because Scott had a relationship with the Lerner family and the organization. He knew how competitive they were and where they were going. He was able to kind of fill me in on what they were all about. They were there from the beginning, I'd say."

It's good to have a good relationship with Boras, the game's most powerful agent and a man who can convince excellent players to play for your team. But, as we learned again, it's also expensive. As Tom Boswell explained this summer, Boras aims to go straight to ownership, which is the best strategy an agent can take for squeezing enormous contracts out of teams - it's how Boras got the first Alex Rodriguez contract.

*Jayson Werth has killed the Nationals: In 201 career at-bats against the Nationals, Werth hit .294/.385/.567 (average/on-base/slugging). "It's benefit and bonus enough to have the player," Rizzo said. "To not have him beat our brains in 18 times is great, too."

Werth has taken advantage of the cozy confines at Citizens Bank Ballpark, but his splits are not all that extreme. Since he joined the Phillies in 2007, Werth has hit .293/.382/.526 with 51 homers in 892 at-bats at home and .272/.378/.486 with 44 homers in 906 at-bats on the road. He has hit well at Nationals Park (against Nationals pitching, of course): .307/.390/.580 with six home runs in 88 at-bats.

*The Nationals' lineup is very right-handed - for now: If the Nationals were going to play a game tomorrow, they would have three right-handed batters - Ryan Zimmerman, Werth and Josh Willingham - batting consecutively in the middle of the order. They also wouldn't have a first baseman.

The confluence of powerful right-handed bats means that it makes even more sense for the Nationals to pick up either Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche in free agency as their first baseman. (If Pena signs, the number of Scott Boras clients in Washington will be really incredible - Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are also Boras clients.)

The Nationals would also have a left-handed center fielder, whether it's Roger Bernadina or Nyjer Morgan. Rizzo said that, as of now, Morgan is his center fielder.

*The Nationals are still looking for a first baseman, and at least one starting pitcher: Rizzo said the back two spots of the rotation are up for grabs; the Nationals will are still very much in the hunt for Carl Pavano, the veteran right-hander who 17 games for the Twins last season with a 3.75 ERA.

"We're not finished," Rizzo said. "We understand that we've got holes to fill. We're going to be aggressive and do what we can to address those. But we're going to do it prudently and smartly. We're not going to spend money just to spend money. As we've shown here, when there's a player that we target, that really fits what we're trying to do, we're going to go after him and acquire him."

*This won't be the last big Nationals contract: The specter of Werth's contract will hang over the Nationals for the better part of the next decade, and not only as they hope Werth stays productive to the tune of $18 million a year as he nears his 40th birthday.

Before Ryan Zimmerman hits free agency after the 2013, the Nationals will need to try to sign him to a long-term contract extension. Zimmerman has proven to be even more valuable than Werth the past couple years, and then there's the fact that he's a homegrown fan favorite who tends to always do the right thing -- Washington's Jeter. If Werth got $126 million, just imagine what Zimmerman could command.

And then comes 2017, when Stephen Strasburg hits free agency. And then 2018 or 2019 or so, when Bryce Harper does. And don't forget, perhaps, Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann or whoever else might emerge as a star for the Nationals. The Nationals could start doling out serious money. Werth's contract was the richest in Nationals history, but it probably won't be for long.

Which is why the better hope the bet right when they bet big on Werth. If he's productive and helps turn the Nationals into a winning team and fills Nationals Park, they'll have the revenue they need. If his 36-year-old body starts breaking down and the Nationals never reach the top of the NL East, there are going to be very hard decisions about future contracts.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 5, 2010; 10:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

Can't wait to read how Tom ("Damn Yankees STEAL championships!") Boswell spins this deal, especially if - as Werth is expecting - other high-profile (and high-priced) "pieces" are added.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | December 5, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I love that the Lerners are willing to spend. Baseball, more so than any other sport, really rewards the big spenders. Everyone knows this is a bad contract but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes to bait the big fish.

However, something about Werth does not (in my view) qualify him as a marquee franchise player. Correct me if I'm wrong but $100 million is alot of money and it'd be a shame if that were to be spent on a role player. What makes him worth it? .285/.380/.480? Annual member of the 20/20 club?

Whatever it is, I hope it's worth it and I hope the front office brings in some help.

Posted by: von_bluff | December 5, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to read how Tom ("Damn Yankees STEAL championships!") Boswell spins this deal, especially if - as Werth is expecting - other high-profile (and high-priced) "pieces" are added.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | December 5, 2010 10:30 PM

Boswell has been begging the owners to spend for 4 years

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Is Dan Snyder secretly an advisor to the Lerners?

Posted by: jj250 | December 5, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

(sheeplishly admitting to reposting)

I know the tendency is to over-analyze here, but, geez, this is a GOOD GOOD development for the Nats, or at least, us fans. A really big signing, and if the Nats have an in with Boros, so much the better.

More than once, Boz has pointed out persuasively that the Lerners are making money on the team and can afford to spend. Now we have evidence. Thank goodness, at last.

Now, let's get D. Lee or Adam LaRoche, at least. And give ol' NJ an invite to spring, if nobody signs him.

Posted by: nats24 | December 6, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

"If Rizzo had not already made it clear enough that he values athleticism, the events of the past three days - with Adam Dunn walking and Werth coming aboard - have cemented that."

Hardly. If Rizzo is so truly committed to the "athleticism" philosophy, why would he risk the supposedly significant hit to his ground-ball pitching staff for three full years by offering the three-year deal at $12M per year that he put on the table? It's about muffing the Dunn negotiations to begin with, followed by a save-face move, overpaying a guy Rizzo personally scouted who's going to take up a ridiculous amount of salary while his non-CBP-inflated career winds down. Boras is playing this team like a fiddle.

Yay, a glorified scout hands out a ridiculous deal and lets a manageable one for a non-mercenary walk out the door! How Cerrato-esque...

Posted by: one2 | December 6, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

I think they're overpaying, and I can't imagine Jayson Werth is going to have much value in years 5-6-7 of this deal. And I really hope there's a buyout in there, because he'll be immovable.

But a big knock on the Lerners was that they were cheap and bungled the Dunn signing because of it. And there was a big fear that the lineup would be totally inept without Dunn. So we know this much -- they may not be smart, but they aren't entirely cheap. And the lineup could be at least somewhat viable if they add a LH power bat.

Posted by: dlgood | December 6, 2010 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I like the signing. The identity of the Nationals going forward is being forged with this signing. The Nats will be a different team immediately with the impact really becoming apparent in 2012. Now signing a true fielding firstbaseman will mean a defensive upgrade of two positions, with the only remaining position of doubt being centerfield. As we saw last year with Dunn, it is not only about errors committed but also making plays that are normal for a first baseman to make. Dunn was not making them at his current age and would have been progressing in the wrong direction as he aged.

The Boras comments on what was expected of Jason Werth were highlighting the difference in expectations of him and Adam Dunn. Werth will help the rookies with the attitude of being a winner and expecting to win, an intangible that has been missing in the clubhouse. Filtering into the clubhouse free agents who have been instrumental with getting their team into a winning cycle will make a huge difference.

The length of the contract and the cost does not bother me. The Philadelphia model of business shows that you can double your payroll and still make money if you can produce a winning team that competes. If it happens in the next two years it will guarantee the teams fiscal success. But none of it could take place until the farm system was turned around. The last two drafts were the foundation.

Posted by: driley | December 6, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

One other angle I haven't seen mentioned - signing Werth will continue to fill Nats Park with fans from Philly!! I think this was actually Stan Kasten's parting shot to the ballclub!

Sigh. Would still rather have Dunn's bat, and the extra $75M to spend on pitching.

Posted by: ehay2k | December 6, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

In every sense, an excellent signing by the Nats. The only negative was the length of the contract, but obviously that was necessary if this team were to get Werth. To obtain first rate, good fielding outfielders is a lot harder than getting an equivalent first baseman. To suggest, as many have, that Dunn brings as much to the plate as Jason Werth is simply ludicrous. Maybe, down the line, Nats might regret the deal, but I doubt it. There will be many side benefits to signing such a player, a major one being the credibility he brings.
As far as the money is concerned, I think it is more realistic to look at it on a yearly basis, not the overall contract. Then Werth's is four million more than Dunn's, not double. And four million is not going to affect how much the Lerners are going to pay for a free agent pitcher. I'd bet on it.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 6, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Very competitive division with high profile teams. So, you've got that angle as well..hurt a team in the division while helping yourself.

Posted by: tslats | December 6, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Regarding how much it will cost to keep Strasburg and Harper in 2018/2019: If the team has an established history of being in the playoffs every year by then, the cash flow to pay those contracts will be there.

If the team is still losing, the money won't be there, and Strasburg and Harper will leave, joining the long-departed Zimmerman.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 6, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Adam writes:

{The main reason is, Werth has the skill set Rizzo desires, and Werth does not. }


Sadly, I think this sums up the Nationals correctly.

Please don't correct what may be your best observation ever.

*
*
*

Bat Dunn five, where he can protect Zim and drive inthat speedy, athletic Werth.

Wait -- too late.

Werth will giggle all the way to the bank, where


the Lerners will charge him for using the mall's parking spaces.

Gahd I hate this team. . . .

Posted by: mistermuleboy | December 6, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

If we get LaRoche for first base, that pretty much sends Morse back to the bench since RF is now closed to him. Too bad - I would have liked to have given him a chance to play every day, see what he can do.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 6, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm loving the news of vitriol and shock and disgust from across the baseball world about this contract. ESPN's Keith Law (a Redsox fan) ripped it..... What they're REALLY mad about is not the contract terms... They're mad because the Nats just destroyed their prism of reality... Werth was going to Boston! How DARE this upstart loser snag him!!! It's an obscene contract and it's just not right!! Boo Hooo! Everyone knows that only the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Mets, Phillies and a few more are the only teams that are allowed to sign the marque names.... Forget the contract... The figures and length were the only way a team like the Nats could compete.... We narrowly lost Texheira to the Yankees... Nobody complained about the Yankees signing him or about e monster A Rod deal... They get their guys... I am loving this... Lookout baseball, you'd damn well better start paying attention to us!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 6, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

After years of complaining that the Lerners are too cheap, I found myself in the odd position of having to say they spent too much money. If the Nats have any chance to sign Crawford, they will likely have to pay him more than Werth or, for that matter, any other top free agents. Just amazing they couldn't come up with a four yr deal for Dunn - you can probably trade Dunn after 2 years to the AL as a DH. We are not going to be able to trade Werth.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 6, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

If they sign a FA 1B, Morse comes off the bench unless & until he hits well enough to earn a spot. If they keep this up, their bench players will be on the bench (instead of forced to start & not being good enough), which may be pretty deep. This is a great move; fans should be very happy! They still have big holes, but they know what they need, it sounds like.

Nice tio see this, cuz it:
1. Improves the team RIGHT NOW & sends the right message to the rest of the players;

1. Reassures the fans!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 6, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

As a non-practicing Mariners fan I can tell you that the Lerner family and Rizzo bring me hope. Are they're risks involved? Of course there are, nothing is a sure thing in sports. The Nats have a plan and as far as I can tell they're working to execute it. With the right moves in 2011 and 2012 the Nats are going to become legit contenders.

The Mariners are a non-stop disaster of poor drafting, overpaid has-beens, an ever changing muddled plan to rebuild, and worst of all a foreign based corporate owner that really doesn't give a cr*p.

From my perspective the Nats are doing great.


Posted by: SeattXpat | December 6, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm stunned - The Lerners' actually signed a big contract! Is Werth a perfect fit for the Nationals? Maybe not, but the OF just got deeper & more athletic as a result.

This week's winter meetings just got a little more interesting; Let's see if Rizzo has anything else up his sleeve.

Posted by: BinM | December 6, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Ever the optimist AK, with that stuff about Werth's contract being the richest in Nat history, but not for long.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 6, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

[fake rant:] The Lerners always try to buy the championship. This contract is just another example of how they throw good money after bad instead of trying to build the team from the ground up. Years of poor draft choices like Strasburg (injurred), Harper (high schooler), and Zimmermann (done nothing) just show how inept they are. They could have signed Dunn for half the money and added Vlad Guererro and John Garland for the same money. And there was hardly any coverage of the signing at all. And, and, ummm and I buy tickets to the game and ummmm ...[end of fake rant].

Posted by: natbisquit | December 6, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and forget about Dunn. He was never going to stay in Washington. Dunn wants a championship sooner than later and they're are plenty of contenders willing to oblige him.

Posted by: SeattXpat | December 6, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Boswell has been begging the owners to spend for 4 years

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 11:22 PM

True, but he didn't specifically say, "Overpay for an aging would-be superstar." That's the Yankees' business model. The only reason more of us aren't hooting this down like we did the Phil's extravagant deal with Ryan Howard last year is because this is OUR team, not theirs.

Don't get me wrong: I'm impressed the Nats are taking this step... and as the Yanks are my AL-fave team, I have NO PROBLEM with spending mega-$$$ to get quality players. The *length* of the deal bugs me, but - as Rizzo said - ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

The point is: If - as Werth hinted during his conference call - this is just the opening salvo for a brace of high-priced signings to make a winning record (not just .500) a reality in 2011, then those who curse the Bombers, like our beloved Mr. Boz, will have to do some serious soul-searching before their next keystroke.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | December 6, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Nice "rant," natsb. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 6, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Glad to have Werth, as I love his all around game -- but it is hard to think that the Nats did not get fleeced.

The Nats could not go to a 4 year offer for Dunn, but 7 years for Werth (only been an every day player in MLB for a couple of years) and his 6'5" of speed and defense (not sure his defense is going to look so stellar when he is that old) made $70M+ more sense? That is a lot of pitching they could have bought.

I HOPE that Rizzo knows what he is doing.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 6, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

gilbertbp, there will be room for Morse in LF after Hammer is dealt for pitching

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 6, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

trade willingham for ellsbury please.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Pudge is a Boras client, too.

The Dunn negotiations weren't botched. They didn't want him back. If I had to watch Dunn for 4 more years, six total, I'd have given up MY season tickets!

Posted by: Section314 | December 6, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

it's not like Dunn isn't here because of an error in our bid; management didn't feel he was worth it. Are they right? Who knows but they own and run the team, their opinions count more then those on a message board... or those who pay for tickets

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 6, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

the real negotiating error with dunn was originally signing him for 2 years when they could have had him for 4 years.

extending him for 4 now makes little sense to me.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

we absolutely must sign another type A free agent and take advantage of this silly compensation program. watching the phillies and red sox lose out on priority picks is good times.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The Nats are getting owned by Boras. What a horribly ridiculous contract. He's aging and had his top year in his contract year. This has Alfonso Soriano signing for the Cubs written all over it.

Posted by: Aerowaz | December 6, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

SC, regarding Morse - I'd rather have Willingham in left, Bernie in center, Werth in right, and Morgan and Maxwell in some other city (I've gotten over my 2009 season fanboy crush on Nyjer). Seems to me that would probably be a decent outfield.

Morse has played very little LF in his career - how good would his defense be out there?

Of course, the Nats have had Alfonso Soriano, Wily Mo Pena, and Adam Dunn in LF at various times, so it's not like they consider it terribly important. I remember worrying that Wily was going to hurt himself out there...

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 6, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank all the Phillie fans who attended games at our stadium last summer for their financial contribution to the Nat's future and helping make this signing possible. Keep coming to our games while you can, and we'll try to continue spending your money wisely.

Posted by: Natzfan | December 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

People likening the Lerners to the way Dan Snyder behaved in the early to mid-00s are just flaunting their blithering ignorance for all to see. Snyder (who thankfully has seen the error of his ways) went for the big, flashy players, the Deieon Sanderses, while the Lerners are going for the rock solid, but less flashy, players like Jayson Werth. The Lerners are going for less show and more go.

Also, baseball is different from football. Baseball is a game if individual talents; football players cannot do anything at all without significant contributions from their teammates -- ON EVERY PLAY. Nobody needs to block for Jayson Werth as he shags a fly ball or steals a base. Nobody needs to throw him a pass to catch before he can cross home plate.

But Werth plays well with others. His arm is the best in right field anywhere. He hits with men on base.

I doubt that anyone anymore can say with a straight face (or without drawing well-earned ridicule) that the Lerners intend to Pittsburgh-ize the Nats -- going cheap and hoping for a miracle. Of course, it was obvious all along; they have nearly snagged numerous free agents over the past couple of years only to be outbid by the Yankees, who outbid everyone anyhow. But now it is clear that the richest owners in baseball are acting like it, and we Nats fans are going to be among the beneficiaries of it.

It just makes me wish I was still the slugging, high-average, almost NEVER striking out left-fielder I used to be. I'd be giving Scott Boras a call this morning.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Well played, Natzfan.

---

I'd like to thank all the Phillie fans who attended games at our stadium last summer for their financial contribution to the Nat's future and helping make this signing possible. Keep coming to our games while you can, and we'll try to continue spending your money wisely.

Posted by: Natzfan | December 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 6, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Natzfan wins the "best comment on the Jayson Werth signing" award, hands down.

Well done.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 6, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

gilbert I agree, but Willingham seems to be the name mentioned most when players are discussed that might be leaving. I'd hate to see him go but if he can return a strong SP (if packaged with something else) then I'm on board with that

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 6, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So, now what? Obviously the Nats need a 1B who bats lefthanded, hits homers and can field well. That means either Pena or Laroche.

They're probably going to sign Pavano to help out the rotation. I like that move.

Then, do they pull the trigger on a trade? Willinghan, Desmond, one of the catching prospects for a starting pitcher? Find another CF/leadoff option to either challenge or replace Nyjer? Get a veteran middle infielder to play 2B with Espinosa going to SS? Flesh out the bullpen with a veteran arm? Get another stick for the bench?

I predict we see two of those events during this winter meeting.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 6, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

People who think that Scott Boras "owns the Nats" may have it a little bit backwards. Indeed, Scott Boras may now be a truly MAJOR, if secret, member of the Nats' front-office team. Boras seems to be taking on an active role in talking his clients into giving us a real shot, and this could mean some really interesting developments in the future.

What's a million here and a million there to the Lerners? They have BILLIONS on which to draw, with more coming in every day from their extensive real estate holdings in the only real estate market in the country that didn't crash. And the Nats make a good amount of money even mired in the cellar. If we could contend, the magnitude of their payroll won't matter; they'll stay in the black. The Lerners can make back the amount they spent on a Jayson Werth in a few good weeks. Them spending $18 million on a Jayson Werth is like me spending $24 on a decent bottle of cabernet.

I LOVE it! I hope they go absolutely nuts and sign Cliff Lee, too. Then it really will be "Wait 'til next year," when Strasburg returns and Zimmermann has worked out all the kinks.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 6, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Jayson Werth; I am extremely confident the Nationals will figure out a way to screw this up.

This changes nothing with us, Ted.

We still hate you.

Sell the team.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

gilbert I agree, but Willingham seems to be the name mentioned most when players are discussed that might be leaving. I'd hate to see him go but if he can return a strong SP (if packaged with something else) then I'm on board with that

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 6, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

baltova1 wrote:

"So, now what? Obviously the Nats need a 1B who bats lefthanded, hits homers and can field well. That means either Pena or Laroche."

I don't give even half a rat's patootie which side of the plate our first baseman hits from. It is in the field where the guy has to play left-handed simply because of the geometry of the position. He can bat from straight over his head or from between his legs for all I care, as long as he hits for high average and good power.

The problem with Morse is that he's a right-handed fielder, wearing his glove on his left (foul-line side, or home-plate side when he's taking throws from the other infielders) hand, and that's just plain incorrect for a first baseman.

Because Morse was a shortstop and has an excellent range, he can compensate for some part of that innate shortcoming, but I agree that the addition of a proper first-baseman is probably a necessity unless Marrero or Moore make a big, sudden splash.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 6, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This is Jaromir Jagr all over again. You don't overpay for a star just to prove to the fans and future free agents that you're serious about the team's future. The only thing you're proving is that ownership makes questionable business decisions.

Posted by: theblitz | December 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Jayson Werth; I am extremely confident the Nationals will figure out a way to screw this up.

All this represents is the latest marketing gimmick that somehow you will makes millions for the owners while the Gnats struggle along at the bottom of the NL East.

This changes nothing with us, Ted.

We still hate you.

Sell the team.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Werth was the Phillies' most consistent player in the playoffs the past two years, other than maybe C. Lee in 2009. Boswell may not like him as much because he's not a locker-room type guy like Dunn, and it's probably true he won't be a leader. But he just always plays hard, and he's a huge defensive upgrade.

Plus, I don't think the money is that big a deal. If the Lerners hadn't spent this much on the deal, it's not as if that money would have automatically been spent elsewhere. It may well have just never been spent at all, which is how it's usually gone around here. Maybe it screws up the rest of the baseball a little... although it's hard to see why, if everyone else in baseball agrees it's not a realistic deal. (How can anyone argue that Crawford is worth more because of Werth's deal, if Werth's deal doesn't reflect the market? Does BMW have to raise prices because some crazy dude bought an overpriced Audi?)

I just like when they do something, anything. Even something crazy.

Posted by: thoward1223 | December 6, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Look, there are no guarantees in life, and we all know that Jason Werth isn't Babe Ruth.

We also know that the Nats were going to have to overpay to get even a high B-level free agent to come here, and needed to take drastic steps to make themselves at least credible in the near term. So the Lerners did that, and they should be praised for it.

Will it work out? Depends in part on how you define the goals. Was this intended to make the team more palatable at the box office in the near term? If so, it probably succeeds. Does it help make it a contender in the longer term? Maybe, depending on how he ages. Was it intended to help attract other free agents and cement the relationship with Boras? Probably. Will that pay off in the longer term? Only time will tell.

Not to mention all the things you can't predict, especially injuries. This time last year, who expected 2011 with no Strasburg?

All one can say with certainty is that the Lerners have demonstrated a willingness to spend money to succeed, that they are not intent on turning the Nationals into the Pirates or the Royals. This, alone, is good news, and the rest requires a little patience. We all know that throwing money at a franchise does not necessarily solve all its problems -- just ask Dan Snyder, Peter Angelos, and George Steinbrenner. But it's hard to solve it without that -- just ask Royals and Pirates fans -- so let's hope we're on the right track.

And in this weather, ANYTHING that brings talk of baseball is welcome.

Posted by: Meridian1 | December 6, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Q: When is it okay to call Rizzo "erratic"?
A: Now!

Posted by: Section506 | December 6, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners have sure put themselves in a bind. The Face's contract will be due in 2013. After him, assuming he stays (which I personally doubt) there is little chance there will be enough ducat in the bucket for both Strasburg and Harper.

Great going. Just freakin' brilliant.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners have sure put themselves in a bind. The Face's contract will be due in 2013. After him, assuming he stays (which I personally doubt) there is little chance there will be enough ducat in the bucket for both Strasburg and Harper.

Great going. Just freakin' brilliant.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 11:00 AM

Are you the Lerners' accountant?

Posted by: mojo6 | December 6, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Are you the Lerners' accountant?

Posted by: mojo6 December 6, 2010 11:08 AM

-------

Nope. I am a former season ticket holder.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

That explains it.

Posted by: mojo6 | December 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners have the money...Ted Lerner is worth over $3 billion, the money is there

Posted by: DCfan8397 | December 6, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

And now it's being spent.

Posted by: mojo6 | December 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

It's not a question of whether they have the money. It's a question of whether they will SPEND the money and anyone who says after this silliness that Zimmerman (the Face of the Franchise) isn't going to want to get paid is an idiot of the highest order...

Then, once Zimmerman gets paid, Strasburg will want MORE... and then Harper will want even MORE....

DCfan, I agree they have the money -- I am suggesting they will never part with it in such huge amounts. This amount, for this long, facing an ever increasing demand that will hit like tidal waves in 2-3 year increments? These guys aren't the Yankees.

Period.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

mojo, you sound like a shill for the Natinals. Are you on their payroll?

Posted by: medic2010 | December 6, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's a lot of money and a lot of years but necessary to get this level of talent. And this is the kind of well rounded player I enjoy watching. Dunn provides the long HR and 100 RBI but at a very steep price of poor defense and 200 K's. I wish him well but the fans in Chicago may not cheer when he has a 4K game.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners have sure put themselves in a bind. The Face's contract will be due in 2013. After him, assuming he stays (which I personally doubt) there is little chance there will be enough ducat in the bucket for both Strasburg and Harper.

Great going. Just freakin' brilliant.

Posted by: medic2010

Then, according to you, the only way to sustain the franchise is to pay middle of the road players middle of the road salaries. The problem with having too many 'superstars' is you have to pay them all... but wouldn't THAT be a nice problem to have in a couple of years???

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I guess we know now why the Nats were cool on signing Adam Dunn to an extension over the summer.

The Boras - Lerner relationship was blossoming.

Posted by: muddapucker | December 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

It's true - Werth has killed the Nationals. If you can't beat 'em, sign 'em?

Only one problem: Werth doesn't get to face lousy Nats pitching anymore.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 6, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo did the right thing. Dunn is an AL player by trade who was miscast in the NL. He is a DH not a 1B. Werth is a perfect fit in the NL as a two way player with athleticism who has a ring.

Washington needs to add more players that come from winning organizations so the culture of youth here can begin to mature in the right direction, following a good example.

In the past Washington had a number of guys whose attitude was not perhaps the best to support the growth and development of younger players.

Rizzo has gotten rid of the Elijah Dukes of the world and the other Bowden misfits.

Guys like Werth cost a lot for the Nationals because Washington has not yet turned the corner and become a consistent winner.

Once that happens the Nationals will be able to get guys to want to come here and play for more competitive dollars.

Same thing happened with the Capitals.

Guys are taking less to stay in Washington because they want the chance to win a championship.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 6, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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