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Posted at 4:42 PM ET, 12/ 5/2010

Nationals sign Jayson Werth [UPDATED]

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals have signed free agent outfielder Jayson Werth, according to a source, robbing the division rival Philadelphia Phillies of one of their best players and making stunning improvement to their immediate chances at contention. In the wake of losing first baseman Adam Dunn in free agency, the Nationals signed Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract that will pay Werth an average of $18 million per year.

Werth, who will turn 32 in May, signed the largest deal in Nationals history by far, the 13th richest in baseball history. "A monumental day," said the Nationals spokesman who introduced General Manager Mike Rizzo at a press conference at the winter meetings in Orlando. "A statement," Manager Jim Riggleman said. Rizzo called it an unofficial beginning to "phase two" of the Nationals, from moving to building a farm system to expecting to win. Werth, the Nationals believe, will replace Dunn's offense while providing above-average defense in right field.

"He'll be a centerpiece of our ballclub on the field and in the clubhouse," Rizzo said. "It kind of exemplifies phase two of the Washington Nationals' process. Phase 1 was a scouting-and-player development, build-the-farm-system type of program. We feel that we're well on our way of doing that. We feel that now, it's the time to go this second phase and really compete for division titles and championships."

In taking that step, the Nationals also took a major risk. Werth's contract will run until the 2018 season, at which point Werth will be turning 39. Rizzo believes Werth will continue improving as he enters his mid-30s, which would buck a trend deeply established in the entire of history of baseball. Rizzo also acknowledged that a team with the Nationals' reputation, having lost 298 games in three seasons, sometimes must pay more than more successful competitors. And so the Nationals paid more than anyone expected.

"I think anyone is a little uncomfortable with giving anyone a seven-year deal," Rizzo said. "But we're in a position with the Washington Nationals at this place and this time that we have to do a little bit more than the championship-caliber, win-today teams. I think that it's kind of a two-fold process. Sometimes you have to give the years to get the player. We feel, with that said, this is the type of guy to give a long-term deal with. He takes such good care of his body. Our evaluators have seen him improve the last three years to a point where we still his best days are still ahead of him."

Some around the game thought the contract excessive.

"It makes some of our contracts look pretty good," new Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told New York reporters, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "That's a long time and a lot of money. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington."

Werth, a client of Scott Boras, had been seriously pursued by the Boston Red Sox, among roughly eight other teams. Werth joined a plethora of Nationals -- including first overall draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper -- as client of Boras who have signed recent megadeals with the Nationals.

"The Lerners and I don't share Thanksgiving dinner," Boras said. "But we've shared a lot of dinners lately, that's for sure."

Said Rizzo: "It's always more comfortable dealing with someone when you have a relationship with them. We've done several deals in the past. We know each other's style. We know which buttons to push and which buttons not to push."

We'll have much, much more later on this news.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 5, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
 
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Next: What's the Nationals lineup with Jayson Werth?

Comments

Don't stop there, please!

Posted by: swanni | December 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Unreal.

Morse to 1B? Bernie to LF? Josh on the block? 7 year deal: and Bryce plays where?

If you're a RF in the minors (Mr. Burgess), think about another position real fast.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 5, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

7 years, $126 mil

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

So we give a 31 year old guy 7 years but can't give Dunn a 4th? Man... no reason we shouldn't have both of these guys. Jayson Werth is a baller, and I'm glad we got him, but this still doesn't make up for letting Dunn walk.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Congrats from an O's fan. At least there's one franchise in the area willing to spend the going rate to improve.

Posted by: bukaki23 | December 5, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

MLB Network covering the news conference right now.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Never saw that coming.

Can't wait to see the negative posts on this one.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Renaming Nationals as Boras East.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 5, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Harper, start fielding first base fast and you will be up in the big leagues next year!

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

I am all for making the Nats Boras East!!!! Woo hoo! Spend the money to get all the Boras players you can!

The Lerners are not cheap!!!!!!!

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | December 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Very glad to hear about Werth, although I agree that it was a damn shame to let Adam go...

Posted by: natsncats | December 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I like Werth, but he is a "role" player and had a lot of ducks on the pond in Philly. He won't have that in Nats Town for sure. So, 7 years at $18 Million a year seems a bit much for this 31 year old. You always have to question any moves the Natinals make, since they are so, obviously, inept.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Interesting......Who goes?

Posted by: Natstoyou | December 5, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

and the fella who writes this Nats Journal is an idiot. "Immediate Contention"...ha ha...too much egg nog I suppose.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo mentioned Werth in CF. Makes sense. Bernie or Danny leading off? Bernie/Morse platooning in RF, or Michael goes to 1B. Or Josh to 1B, Bernie to LF, Michael to RF holding things down till Bryce is ready.

Sorry Nyjer. Love to see you hit .400 in Viera this early Spring to really make things interesting.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

and the fella who writes this Nats Journal is an idiot. "Immediate Contention"...ha ha...too much egg nog I suppose.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like our owners must have Lerned something Werthwhile after all.

(sorry about that one)

Posted by: 202character | December 5, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Rizzo is great at keeping things close to the vest. Dunn would still make more sense, thw new lineup will be VERY right hand heavy.

Posted by: NatsMan21 | December 5, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Adam:

What do you mean by "stunning improvement to their immediate chances at contention"?

Do you mean their chances as compared to one hour ago? Or are you seriously suggesting that Werth is a "stunning" improvement as compared to having Dunn? If the latter, that's ridiculous. This is treading water.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 5, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Could mean that they are looking for another lefty stick in free agency...

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 5, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I would really like to have Dunn, but seeing as he's gone it's good to get someone besides Carlos Pena.

Werth is old but he's legitimately good, and it feels good to take from the Phillies. All our best hitters are righties as it stands, still not sure exactly how the lineup plays out, but I feel much better about the team than I did a day ago.

Posted by: 202character | December 5, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

WOW!
Werth is a monster. Zimmerman just got his back covered for 7 years.

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

I'm with jwing14 on this. Werth's a nice player, but you can pretty much reduce his RBI by at least a 1/3 in DC. And 7 years? Yeesh, that contract could look pretty ugly in 3-4 years. I'll take Dunn's 4 years any day. And it's easier to find role players in the OF than a full-time 1B....That said, if they're gonna go hog wild on an OF, they should've outbid everyone else by 25% on Crawford and see if he accepted.

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

>So we give a 31 year old guy 7 years but can't give Dunn a 4th? Man... no reason we shouldn't have both of these guys. Jayson Werth is a baller, and I'm glad we got him, but this still doesn't make up for letting Dunn walk.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq

Of course it doesn't make any sense. It's the zero sum game - they got panicked when Dunn walked. Werth had 9 homers on the road last year. If he hits 27 next year in a new park with a lousy lineup, well, I'll be mighty impressed Jethro! Probably hit 15, maybe 20. 80 rbis if he's lucky. About year three the contract is going to become untradeable like Soriano. But it sure do feel good to get a barely above average guy for seven years!

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ah, CiL, true to form even when management does something well they get no credit. You think going form Morgan to Werth is treading water? Oh, I forget, we lost Dunn so no matter what Rizzo has failed.

I like the signing, although (of course) we overpaid. Had to. And if we get Webb or Pavano we'll have to overpay for them to but that's what's needed to bring players into a losing culture.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, this looks like the start of something very interesting. Consider if they remake their outfield--I expect at least one more outfield piece to fall this week with the Nats, with each puzzle piece improving the overall defense. This is a market where it might have been impossible to get the top pitcher but if you improve other areas of the team you will still come out ahead. One thing that Rizzo has been keen about is not actually tipping his hand.

Posted by: driley | December 5, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Brue - how did they panic when Dunn walked when they knew months ago he wasn't coming back?

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

So Tulo gets the LT deal, and Werth gets the LT deal. When does Zim get his deal? Zim: time to switch to Team Boras.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 5, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Harper has too much of a gun to go to first base so it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the outfield.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | December 5, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

7 yrs? Ugh.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | December 5, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

jwing14-

Your post is just noise to me. They are losers if they don't sign big free agents, losers if they do, to you. Werth is one of the top FAs this year, and DC got him. I don't care about the Lerners' money, but the chorus calling them cheap now needs to shut up.

I am psyched about this signing, even if it is not great years from now. The Yankees beat us out for Teixeira, and nobody talked about the Yankees giving too many years- they did what they needed to do.

The team is better for having Werth in the outfield. Beleive that they will find a first baseman because Dunn is gone. This is only the first day of the Winter Meetings.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | December 5, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

>Brue - how did they panic when Dunn walked when they knew months ago he wasn't coming back?
Posted by: SCNatsFan

I find it odd (not really) that the Nats give him seven years, when no one else even offered as much as six. That's in the category of 'screwing yourself because you're in a panic' mode. Jeez, I thought you'd be over the moon, and back on the playoff trail now, and you're sitting there moaning at what other people say? They'll be paying 18 mill for someone who barely knocks in 75-80 runs. Year after year. When he hits 34-35-36 yrs. old it'll be even worse, and they won't be able to trade him.

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Hitting 4th behind Zim, Werth will actually have MORE opportunities to drive in runs. In Philly, he was hitting 5th behind Ryan Howard, and how many times did he come to the plate with nobody on base because Howard had just cleared them? Also, Zimmerman is bit more fleet of foot than Howard, so you're talking much more likely to score from first on a double or from second on a single than Howard...

Is it the best signing? Maybe not, because of the years and dollars, but we knew they had to overpay to get any talent in here. I like the fact that they're going out and making something happen, even if it isn't Dunn. They perhaps have something else in the pipeline at 1st, either Morse or one of the free agents.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 5, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners were fools for not signing Adam Dunn, but I guess this takes a little bit of the sting away.

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

Why isn't this story on the front page? If the Nats were Pearl Harbor, the Post wouldn't report about the bombing until December 9th.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

P.S. I suspect the Nats were moved to act once they realized how upset Nats fans were about not signing Dunn.

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

Those of you b!tch!ng about the length of the deal can stick it. This was a freaking fabulous deal for the Nats. I've been saying for the last few years that they'd have to overpay for a few big pieces to get other FA's to take them seriously. This smacks of what Detroit did when they signed Pudge. Now we need a lefty arm to with Werth ala the Tigers signing of Kenny Rogers at the time.

This deal may not seem great the last few years of it but right now who gives a cr@p. Right now it's exactly what this team needs. Power, production, protection, and the first real sign that the FO and owners are willing to shell out the big $$$.

Welcome to DC Mr. Werth!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | December 5, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad we signed a top free agent, glad we got Werth. And yes, SCNats I understand we overpaid cause we have to. But in general, I'm with Brue on this. We just committed about 20% of our payroll to a very good complementary piece. In 5 years, when Werth is still taking down 15% - 20% of our payroll, this is going to be regretted.

Oh, and we need Pena or another left handed power bat in the middle of the lineup.

No way is Rizzo close to being done.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Good signing. Hopefully no ACL or rotator cuff problems during the 7 years.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 5, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

C'mon brue, still never answered the question about how the panicked because someone they knew months ago was leaving actually left. Think Rizzo panicked because of all of the negative message board posts?? Ha ha. They gave him the extra year other teams clearly wouldn't, an obviously they felt he was worth it and Dunn wasn't. Did they overpay? Absolutely, if they don't then they don't get him, And am I happy? Yes I am, and I bet it drives you crazy Nats fans are actually happy today and I'd hope as a Nats fan you'd be happy to. He won't lead us to the world series alone but he's a nice start.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, some of you need serious help. Not happy unless you're complaining. Hey, look, is the sky falling over there? Oh, sorry, it's not. Maybe next time, grumps.

Look, nobody's claiming that Werth is the Second Coming, but it's a very good addition to the squad. The guy is a gamer, and, unlike almost everyone else on the Nats, he has played (and won) in big games. Is that worth something? I would say so.

I'm no Lerner lover, but this is a suggestion (a suggestion only) that their wallet is starting to open. If we can't be excited about a very good player joining a team that lacks them sorely, what the hell can we get excited about?

Posted by: hooverama | December 5, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That's...that's something.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | December 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Hard to argue with the signing, they needed a big splash.

Still, we're swapping a lefty power bat for a righty one, we're definitely too righty oriented as of now. And a seven year signing for a Boras guy is cool but we cant go four years for Dunn?

Oh well, they're trying. Thats all we can ask.

Laroche comes here as a two-year rental now...

Posted by: CJArlington | December 5, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice signing. Big bucks but was rated #3 on Yahoo's list. I'm not saying he is all that but he is definitely a quality pickup (better than "slightly above average").

Posted by: calhokie | December 5, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

>>making stunning improvement to their immediate chances at contention

Is Mr Kilgore delusional? Seriously. Contention? Yes this is an excellent sign. However the Nats have no pitching. They are no closer to contending today then they were yesterday. Is this guy a real sports writer?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 5, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If you start with the assumption that Dunn was gone, I like it, though the 7-year length is worrisome. Since I had said during the season that I didn't think Nyjer was the answer in CF, I can't complain about a big move to strengthen the outfield with a solid major leaguer.

If you look at it as a Dunn-for-Werth proposition, it's questionable, but Dunn was gone once they didn't sign him by midseason, so it's academic.

Posted by: Meridian1 | December 5, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Although the years and money is obviously too high, this is still a good sign because that's what you have to do when you stink. You have to pay a premium in years and dough and the Nats finally did. However if they had kept Dunn, they would have had a solid murderers row with Zim, Dunn and Werth. This feels a little like spinning wheels. But none of it will matter without PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING>
BTW, who is our future RF? I thought it was Harper.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 5, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Still gonna be Harper. Werth is RF/CF short-term, LF long.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 5, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I am at a loss as to why they would give Werth 7 and not give Dunn 4, but hey, they signed a good player so I am happy about that. Bring some more in, OK?

Posted by: NatsFly | December 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Woo-Hoo! As said in my post on Dunn, I'm happy to see the Donkey walk if we sign a big name in return. Yes, we overpaid...as we'll need to do until we're contenders. Sticking it to the Phillies and the sociopaths they call fans makes this extra good. Morse or a cheap FA at first until Harper is ready to play first?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | December 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Ah, CiL, true to form even when management does something well they get no credit. You think going form Morgan to Werth is treading water? Oh, I forget, we lost Dunn so no matter what Rizzo has failed."

SC, believe me, the last thing I want is for this team--that I spend $10k+ of my own money on annuall-- to stink and merit this kind of criticism. Whereas you...live in SC?

But objectively, this is not a good deal, in pretty much every respect. Subtracting Dunn and adding Werth does not make the team better. It probably makes them worse in the short term. And while Werth is a good (complementary) player, this is a horrible contract. Adam suggesting that this deal somehow "stunningly" improves their chances at contention (when?) is absurd.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 5, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@Natsfly,

The answer to that question has to be front office disagreement/dissension and changing of "The Plan" due to that, right?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 5, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

In an of itself, this does not mean the Nats are going to be a playoff hunt, but it DOES show the Nats are willing to spend money to get free agents, and this will be talked about around the country except here where the rule for talk radio seems to be if the Nats are in first place, the Wizards are in first, the Terps and Hoyas are in first, and the Capitals are in first, let's talk about the last-place Redskins because they are the only sports team that actually counts.

:eyes roll:

Let's hope the Nats get some quality pitching. It would be great if the Nats can get Cliff Lee, but let's be honest---Lee isn't likely to do what Werth did and pass up a playoff contender for more money. But we may be able to get somebody else.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | December 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

OMG! ALL (almost) is forgiven. This means the Nats are serious after all. Ok, bowl me over. Step back, now. Rizzo comes through, and the Lerners! I thought you guys were cheap Scots, like me! Wow, GREAT MOVE, and for seven years! Now, that is something to take to the bank. OH, NO! I just realized something. What will become of WILLIE HARRIS???

Posted by: shred11 | December 5, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a true stunner. I really like Jayson Werth a lot; one of my favorite NL players and a good bat, with postseason experience. You can argue he's a "young 31" since he didn't become a fulltime player until three years ago. But seven years at $18 million a year, when you wouldn't give Dunn four years, and they're the same age, and Dunn has a longer track record of success? Is Werth really worth that much more than Dunn, if at all?

I can't believe they're going to play him in CF. I don't think he's good enough defensively.

This sets the stage for other moves. They need at least one lefthanded power bat, probably at 1B. Do they trade Willingham to get a pitcher, move Morse/Bernadina to LF and play Werth in RF?

All in all, too early to fully judge this, but I think it was a "statement" signing, not a panic signing. They knew Dunn was leaving and they knew it wouldn't be popular. Public reaction isn't a factor in this move. I think, simply put, intangibles also play a factor here: I think Rizzo views Werth as a winner, with playoff experience. He clearly didn't have that kind of opinion of Dunn.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 5, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Whether he plays at all in CF or not, surely it also points out that Rizzo way-prefers more complete players, AA defenders?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 5, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

CiL, if your down because you go to games and constantly watch them stink then my heart goes out to you, I go to one series a year as I live in SC and the MLB package on TV is leaps and bounds cheaper then tickets (duh). Is this a horrible long term contract like Soriano or Zito? Maybe, but at some point they have to pick a player and hang their hat on him; they chose Werth over Dunn and I think one thing we can agree on is we wish it was Dunn and Werth; maybe then you start talking about moving from the cellar.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

jwing14 - you're the idiot. "improvement to their immediate chances at contention" suggests movement toward a goal, however distant that goal may be. in your rush to judge, you're really the only one inferring "immediate contention" in Adam's punchline here. put down your own eggnog.

Posted by: reddog278 | December 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The only way for the Nationals to bring in top level FAs is to pay him a lot of money over a lot of years. Is Werth going to sign here for $50m over 3 years? No frakkin way. If the Nats are serious they should immediately offer Carl Crawford 7 years and $175m. In for a penny (alot of pennies!) in for a pound.

Posted by: Handsome_John_Pruitt | December 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Great move, Mike Rizzo (and Lerners). Pricey, but it had to be. Now I suspect Adam LaRoche is next in line for 1B. And maybe Pavano - but only 2 years, with a reasonable option. No more with his track record.

We finally have a bona fide Major League CF. Adios to hyper Nyjer. And Milledge got dumped by the Pirates the other day. Ironic.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | December 5, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

A team that thinks giving Adam Dunn $52 million for years years thinks it has improved itself by giving Jason Werth 7 years for $126 million?????

Message to Rizzo and the Lerners: the dance you are doing is called One Step Forward and Two Steps Back.

The Nats will be lucky to avoid 100 losses in 2011, and we'll be watching the debacle from the comfort of our living room instead of from Section 117. Unlike Mike Rizzo and the Lerners, we know the value of a dollar.

Posted by: angelos_peter | December 5, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Werth is good defensively, but NOT in center.

Saw several games with him in center at DC and Phily--not all that impressive.

My guess is Morgan gets one more shot and Willingham is moved.

Posted by: CJArlington | December 5, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Paying a non-elite player, elite player money is silly. Especially for that many years. Does Werth make the team better? In the short term, absolutely. But that $18 million per year after the first 3 or so years is going to be a real hinderance to competing down the road.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | December 5, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that Werth feels like he has a clown mask on his face and a gun stuffed down the back of his pants right now after getting this deal, but let's be honest.

Yes, the years are long and the dollars are high, but if you are a FA, and teams like the Red Sox (who are working a trade for Gonzalez)are piling up dollars in front of you - the extra years are what it costs.

I remember when the Red Sox signed Manny. It was a huge deal and more than what any team woudl have given them, but they were stuck in a loosing cycle and no FA's would come. That deal, although a ton of money, got the team going. Hopefully at the end of 7 years, we'll be saying, yeah Werth was overpaid the last coupld of years, by a lot, but those world series rings still look pretty.

Posted by: paulhealey | December 5, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Leaving the top of the division for the cellar. Maybe worth sees potential in the DC ladies scene. I guess the Phils wouldn't or couldn't offer something even in the ballpark of what the Nat's did.

Posted by: loux24 | December 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Good analogy paulhealey, very true...

Posted by: CJArlington | December 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

At $18M a year, Werth is one of the top 10 highest paid players in all of MLB.

In terms of total value, this is tied for 5th in the history of the National League.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Terrific, very pleased. The Lerners are starting to try and that's great! Keep winning people back.

And I think this was Rizzo convincing the Lerners. They would have spent on Dunn, but Rizzo advised them to let him go and chase the Rated R Superstar. I'm on board

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

7 years is about 4 years too many. Still, not a bad signing, and most importantly, a nice statement from management that they're willing to go out and get players.

Posted by: chrisduckworth | December 5, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight, the Natinals will give Werth $18 Million a year over 7, but won't give a bona fide slugger/clean up hitter in Dunn four years at roughly $15 Million a year? Only a true Natinals fan would be so close minded as to think this is really a good deal. They would have been better off throwing some more cash towards Crawford and getting him instead, but after all those years in Tampa and AAA crowds, he is probably not to anxious in going to AA.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 5, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

This lineup is too righthanded--but it's gonna look a lot better with Prince Fielder in it. Just watch. It's still very, very early in winter meetings week.

Posted by: Eyewitness1 | December 5, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

So we let a defensive liability, 40 homer guy go for a 25-30 homer guy, good defensive player, world champion who has the same agent as Strasburg and Harper. This is a good deal. Just was on espn.com and mlb.com and the laughs and ridicule is prevalent. But we had to over pay and I love this deal. Werth brings intangibles Dunn didnt have. I'll miss Dunn, but Werth is worth it. HAha

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 5, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the presser on Nats website. Boras indicated that Mark and Ted Lerner met with Werth in California and, it's been in the works for a couple of weeks. Boras also said that Werth had been assured of other free agent signings. They're not done yet. Sure, they overpaid and the contract is too long. But it certainly changes the perception of the franchise. They went toe to toe with some heavy hitters and landed a top free agent. Uncle Ted is starting to flex some of his monetary muscle.

Posted by: mojo6 | December 5, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

So, who goes? I say we dump Morgan and Maxwell with a few prospects for a couple of pitchers. Move Morse to 1B, Bernadina to CF. Don't even think of getting rid of Desmond.

Posted by: luv2bikva | December 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Werth does know that when the Phils aren't in town, Nats park is not sold out, right? I mean, for all he knows the Nats draw 3M plus.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

...and this will be talked about around the country except here where the rule for talk radio seems to be if the Nats are in first place, the Wizards are in first, the Terps and Hoyas are in first, and the Capitals are in first, let's talk about the last-place Redskins because they are the only sports team that actually counts....
-----------------------------------------

Well Ed, if you are talking about reporting on baseball I think you are going to be waiting for a long time because the current cast of radio geeks no nothing about baseball.

They think they know about FB because they road the bench in 8th grade.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | December 5, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I like how we're already buttering up Boras for Stras and Harper re-signings. :-) (half kidding)

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

2 draft picks for letting Dunn walk and 7 years with Jason Werth.

Awesome. Youth and experience.

Posted by: dand187 | December 5, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

WOW - PROOF POSITIVE !!!

...that some people are so dedicated to complaint, they can't get out of their own way.

Werth is a well rounded player - good defensively, good baserunner, plays all outfield positions, good arm, power, and reportedly good leadership.

I love Dunn, but this is a better signing. This is in keeping with what they have said all along. Build a fundamentally good defensive team. It also gives strong hope that the dollars are their for Zimmerman too. And we can safely assume that they are not done.

Stop complaining, this is GOOD NEWS!

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I think Morgan stays in CF (Rizz seems to not want to give up on him), Werth RF, Morse LF, sign LaRoche for 1B, sign Webb, trade Willingham/Norris/minor league arm for a decent SP and all of a sudden we have the start of a team in DC

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

jason werth was probably the tenth best player on the Phillies last year behind hallady, oswalt, hamels, utley, rollins, howard, ruiz, victorino, polanco, and madson. With that lineup last year he only had 86 rbi. I hope he enjoys not making the playoffs because he will never see them if he stays the 7 years. Oh by the way d.c. how is that McNabb deal looking right now. That Boras is a real salesman. Cherish that 08 W.S. ring Jayson because you just earned 7 years in baseball hell.

Posted by: phillies2008 | December 5, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

JZimm, Desmond, and Bernandina for Greinke. Thats the next move we should make.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I love the signing. The Nats OF was minor league. Now it is not.

For those of you saying why Werth over Dunn? Werth is a very athletic player who was a late bloomer. They tend to last longer. Dunn was the opposite. A very big man in a huge body. They tend to age quickly.

The other difference is this. Dunn was loved in the locker room as a guy who keeps others loose and having fun. Werth has the reputation of being a guy in the locker room who holds people accountable. The Nats need that more than anything.

Werth is also one of the most "clutch" hitters I've seen in the last few years. When the Phils needed someone to drive in a run when they were behind, Werth hit doubles and HRs. As much as I loved Dunn, I was so tired of watching him strike out or walk in that situation.

I told my 7 year old son about Dunn being signed by the White Sox the other day. Dunn is one of his favorite players. I was worried about what his reaction would be. I was surprised when he said: "That's OK Dad. He strikes out too much anyway." I was shocked. It is not something we talk about. It was his own observations based upon watching probably 20-30 games a season with me.

Now sign LaRoche or Pena and we have ourselves a much better lineup. Hopefully to a short term (2-3 year) contract.

Rizzo needed this off season to be about putting another building block in place. If he gets one more piece, I think that he has really made a huge step forward. This will make it easier to sign more FAs next off season when Strasburg is back and Harper is ready to take the next step.

See you all opening day!

Posted by: NatsWin | December 5, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Until the Nationals are good for a long time they will have to over pay. Great signing some people will just never be happy behind their keyboard.

Posted by: Mike4169 | December 5, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Werth for his career:

.263 v RHP
.292 v LHP

Career .272 .367 .481
2010 .296 .388 .532

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

...10th best on Philly last year...?

He was 8th in MVP voting league wide. How does that work?

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

jason werth was probably the tenth best player on the Phillies last year behind hallady, oswalt, hamels, utley, rollins, howard, ruiz, victorino, polanco, and madson. With that lineup last year he only had 86 rbi. I hope he enjoys not making the playoffs because he will never see them if he stays the 7 years. Oh by the way d.c. how is that McNabb deal looking right now. That Boras is a real salesman. Cherish that 08 W.S. ring Jayson because you just earned 7 years in baseball hell.

Posted by: phillies2008 | December 5, 2010 6:59 PM

Seeing as you probably live in or are from Philadelphia, enjoy your life in hell. Aren't we disturbing your Yeungling and wife beating time?

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

7 years is too long a deal but the Nats had no choice. You need to be relevant before you contend. We are now relevant.

Posted by: djorl | December 5, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm stunned.

Hold up, not so fast Uncle Teddy, don't put that checkbook away just yet, you need to sign 3 or 4 more players before you get put it away.

Werth is no Carl Crawford but, I'll take it. Crawford probably told Rizzo to take a hike. It does show that they will spend...some. They need to keep it up though, because the payroll is still small.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: Section505203 | December 5, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

NatsWin - Hogwash.
Jayson Werth was not a vocal leader in the Phillies clubhouse. Good guys for sure but "Werth has the reputation of being a guy in the locker room who holds people accountable" is something you just made up.

"Werth is also one of the most "clutch" hitters I've seen in the last few years. When the Phils needed someone to drive in a run when they were behind, Werth hit doubles and HRs. As much as I loved Dunn, I was so tired of watching him strike out or walk in that situation."
2010 Jayson Werth
RISP - .186
RISP 2out - .139

Both of those numbers are about 30 points WORSE than Adam Dunn.

Feel good about the signing if you want, but don't just make stuff up.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

That constant refrain about how bad everything sucks just looks silly right now. Petulant, whiny, and sad. Enjoy the good news and hope for some more good news. The who's down in whoville are singing.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! Can Werth pitch? Because we have ABSOLUTELY NO PITCHING and will lose 100 games next year without some damn pitching.

Posted by: GeorgeTowner2 | December 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Jayson Werth and his 147 strikeouts ranked 5th among all NL outfielders.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I know Poopy McPoop got banned, but jwing14 sounds a lot like him.

An AWFUL lot like him...

Agree with luv2bikva. Put Bernadina in center, find a way to keep Willingham and put him in left, and Werth in right, say good bye to Nyjer Maxwell, and you have a decent outfield. Morse to first - let's see if he can hit every day. Might want to think about going after Lance Berkman, just in case he can't. I know, he's 34 years old and his wheels may be ready to fall off - or not - but he went to Rice University and so did my wife, so what's not to like?

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 5, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

gibert, Lance is not only 34, but he's a St Louis Cardinal (oh, and they are going to play him in the outfield, for $8M!!!).

We need another hitter, a left-handed middle of the order guy. Likely Pena.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gilbert -- did Poopy get banned because he doesn't drink the Kool-Aid? Hope you have your knee pads on because rug burns suck.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

While I hate seeing Werth leave my Phightins', some of you posters don't realize he'll probably be the CF for the Nats. N. Morgan should be history. Just get him out of here. Werth in Center, Willingham in Left and sign Francouer for Right.

I agree with what some said about Dunn. Having him in the lineup with Werth behind him would have been pretty close to Howard and Werth.

Posted by: Dog-1 | December 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Stevie--I really don't understand why a team would let Dunn walk and then do this signing. It makes no sense at all to me. But then again, nunof called me clueless for not being impressed with Ladson's reporting, so maybe that is why I don't get this. But Jeez, what a middle of the lineup Zim, Dunn and Werth would have been. Still very PO'd about Dunn, but happy about Werth.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

So does Harper move to 1st or will Werth move to first when Harper comes up?

Does Morse move to first next season?

Does Bernie start in center or left?

Does JWill get traded?

Does Morgan or Bernie become the 4th outfielder?

Do we sign Pena next?

Is a big trade in the works?

Are the Lerners still cheap?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse


WOW! As a Phillies fan, I am disappointed that Philly didn't re-sign him!

And this is the second major Phila. player signed by Washington, a division competitor. McNabb being the other player.

McNabb was no great loss, considering we have Vick, but Werth was one of the few players who turned his game up a notch in the post-season.

Great loss for Phillies.

Posted by: janet8 | December 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

If Rizzo had offered that deal to Adrian Gonzales, then AG would have told San Diego he wasn't signing with Boston unless they matched Rizzo's offer.

After Boston folded, Rizzo could have done a sign and trade with the Padres.

7 years and $126 mill for Werth? What does that make RZ worth, $200 mill? Desperate GM's make desperate deals. This is utter desperation. It makes no sense at all.

Posted by: howjensen | December 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Giving Werth a FIVE-year contract, I could understand. Giving him seven years? I dunno.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 5, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

espinosa - 2nd
sesmond - ss
zimm - 3rd
werth - rf
jwill - lf
pena - 1st
bernie - cf
pudge/ramos

?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 5, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Imagine the howls if instead, the news was that the Red Sox overpaid for Werth, but the Nats were right in there 'til the end.

Posted by: KenNat | December 5, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

What surprises me most is that Werth (in coming here at all) is a gamer. He's tough and plays hard. That will be a first for this franchise.

By the way, Phil Woods said on Saturday he thinks Pena may stay in Florida. He likes it there.

Posted by: JohnRDC | December 5, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad we signed a top free agent, glad we got Werth. And yes, SCNats I understand we overpaid cause we have to. But in general, I'm with Brue on this. We just committed about 20% of our payroll to a very good complementary piece. In 5 years, when Werth is still taking down 15% - 20% of our payroll, this is going to be regretted.

Oh, and we need Pena or another left handed power bat in the middle of the lineup.

No way is Rizzo close to being done.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that MLB contracts aren't built like your standard 9-5 job contracts. I'd like to see how this contract is structured because if I had to guess Werth is probably making upwards of the 17 million average for the first couple years and probably making significantly less than that 17 million average the last few years so he's not going to be like Albert Belle was for the O's a few years ago

Posted by: RT99 | December 5, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This deal is so stupid, I'm almost speechless. Seven years for a guy who's numbers were artificially inflated by all the talent in the lineup around him? Rizzo should be fired for making such a dumb move.

Posted by: RicoSuave2 | December 5, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! Can Werth pitch? Because we have ABSOLUTELY NO PITCHING and will lose 100 games next year without some damn pitching.
-----------------------------------------

We were 19th in pitching last year (Marquis and all) and 25th in hitting. I would submit to you that if our defense is a bit better and we score a few more runs, we will win a few more games even with the same pitch. Now, if everyone gets hurt like last year all bets are off.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | December 5, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Werth will soon realize that he has all the money and they wont divy out any more to make this team better. I dont get signing a 32 yr old to a big deal but not give Dunn a fourth year ??? If they dont improve in 2 years, he gets traded for draft picks or prospects!

Posted by: rvanags | December 5, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

How long does it take before the Washington Post reports this as a story? According to the web site, the Maryland women basketball team winning against Appalachian State is a bigger story than the Nats signing Jayson Werth. COME ON!!!!

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

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Posted by: zhengee88 | December 5, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

gibert, Lance is not only 34, but he's a St Louis Cardinal (oh, and they are going to play him in the outfield, for $8M!!!).

Posted by: Sunderland
=============================================
Jeeze, you miss looking at the sports pages ONE day...

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Why is this a better deal than signing Dunn for half the price? Because Werth improves the team defensively, on the bases and at bat. Specifically, teams cannot pitch around Werth as easily. If they walk him, he can steal. He hits both righties and lefties. He hits fewer homeruns, but led the league in doubles. Same amount of total bases each of the last two years. Like Dunn he plays every game. There are more qualified 1B still on the market.

If you are in to WAR value, he is 5.2 wins above replacement value vs. Dunn's 3.6. He struck out 50 times fewer than Dunn.

It would be great to still have Dunn but the team is probably more fundamentally sound with Werth.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Always thought Werth is a smart, hardnosed ballplayer who gets clutch hits. Dunn may have hit more homers but mostly solo shots and rarely gamechangers. Having post seeason and WS experience is a big plus in the clubhouse with the young guys. Yeah it's a lot of years and dollars but thats what the Nats have to do to get these signings. I don't think the money was the major issue in resigning Dunn but the one dimensionality of his game and the number of years.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 5, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm with natbiscuits, as usual. You can't convince me not to be happy about this contract. Our complaint only days ago was a mixture of the Nats not being active and some version of the Lerners being cheap. Yes, I was really glad to have Adam Dunn, as well. If the team had given him the 4th year you all would have complained.

The Winter Meetings start tomorrow. Nobody knew that Rizzo and Mark Lerner met with Jayson Werth. I wonder who else they met with while nobody was looking? I wonder who Rizzo has been talking to about trades while nobody bothered to make a trade rumor out of it?

Let's reconvene on the state of the Nats at the end of the week, and then again late in January. I hope that Rizzo will have placated you by then.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | December 5, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

natsbiscuit, you lay out a reasonable (but debatable) case for why Werth is a more valuable player than Dunn.

That said, it's also reasonable (and debatable) to say that Dunn at 4/$14 = $56M is a better contract than Werth at 7/$18M = $126M.

Werth will also never steal 20 bases again, but he is a really good baserunner.

If we had kept Dunn, could we have perhaps made a lower offer to Werth that he would still have accepted? If we went 7/$16M for Werth, and he was joining a team with Dunn, he may have accepted that. From reports thus far, it still would have been his best offer. And the $14M we saved would have paid for Dunn's 4th year!


Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely KenNat - the same people complaining of the seven year deal would be complaining more if he signed for the same $ in Boston for six years and we signed Willy Tavares instead because it was a reasonable contract.

I'm sure Rizz would have loved to sign him for 5 years at 80M, but no way Werth, or any other FA, comes here for a deal they can get elsewhere. Imagine how much we'd have to overpay to get Lee.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It is not really relevant whether the contract is expensive. The goal is to field a better team. Many have maintained that the Lerners are cheap rather than smart. They invested heavily in the stadium, they invested heavily in the farm system, and now have invested in a front line free agent. There have been times when complaining seemed just, but it would be disappointing if the people who have maintained they were unwilling to spend now switched arguments to "its the wrong way to spend".

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It is not really relevant whether the contract is expensive. The goal is to field a better team. Many have maintained that the Lerners are cheap rather than smart. They invested heavily in the stadium, they invested heavily in the farm system, and now have invested in a front line free agent. There have been times when complaining seemed just, but it would be disappointing if the people who have maintained they were unwilling to spend now switched arguments to "its the wrong way to spend".

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

...I dont get signing a 32 yr old to a big deal but not give Dunn a fourth year ???...
--------------------------------------

Rizzo: "His skill set is what we're trying to do here in Washington," Rizzo said. "We believe in the National League you have to pitch, play defense, be athletic, go first-to-third, second-to-home, play both sides of the ball."

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | December 5, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

">So we give a 31 year old guy 7 years but can't give Dunn a 4th? Man... no reason we shouldn't have both of these guys. Jayson Werth is a baller, and I'm glad we got him, but this still doesn't make up for letting Dunn walk.
-- Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq
Of course it doesn't make any sense. It's the zero sum game - they got panicked when Dunn walked. Werth had 9 homers on the road last year. If he hits 27 next year in a new park with a lousy lineup,
-- Posted by: brue

Either you two aren't following or not reading one or the other. How many National League teams offered Dunn 4 years to play first base for them? 0, but the Nats did offer 3 years.

How many AL teams offered 4 years as a DH to Dunn? At least 2 in the Chisox and Baltimore.

Werth is good enough to start in center field. Dunn cannot even play first base at age 31? Do you really believe he will get better?
Dunn isn't fast, he isn't athletic, he isn't in great shape for his age like Werth.

Doh! Dunce cap time!

Posted by: periculum | December 5, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@Natsbiscuits: "They invested heavily in the stadium, they invested heavily in the farm system, and now have invested in a front line free agent." With all respect, I live in DC and the Lerners invested zero in the stadium. We built it for them, and then they sued the taxpayers because their in-stadium offices were not fully completed on opening day. Great PR, that! Their farm system is getting better, but "invested heavily" with little foreign presence and until last year a below-slot signing policy belies a "heavy investment" argument. They have signed a big contract with a top FA, and kudos to them for that. They also let another top FA walk, and the team is diminished for that poor decision. I will not debate whether Werth or Dunn is a better fit for the team. That is a red herring. This team needed, and could have had, both. So I still think the Lerners are cheap, but if this is the first of many moves away from that, then good for them. However, they have a long way to go and a long adverse history to overcome.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 5, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Hope I'm wrong, but this feels a lot like when the other Teddy L. in town paid a whole lot of money to bring in a player from Pennsyltucky...

Posted by: SHLL | December 5, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey...get real. As long as this doesn't make a ticket price go up, make a beer cost 50 cents more or impact the price of a dog, it's a great thing. At least every time he comes to the plate we can expect *something* to happen and how bad is that?

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | December 5, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not upset that Jayson Werth signed for $126 million for 7 years. I'm upset the Nats paid that much for him. When he was in Philly, they were trying to trade him before the deadline. He has never hit over .300 EVER. He is a good player, but not one of the top ten in the league. Or maybe I'm not seeing the big picture. Are the Nats planning to get Carl Crawford too? That would be a nice outfield. All I can say, let's wait and see. Congrats Jayson Werth.

Posted by: bigsherwin | December 5, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Phillies fans? Wait, Phillies fans have nothing better to do than to rain on the Nats' parade? In what universe would fans of an outstanding baseball team feel the need to come and kick the sad dog that is our franchise? Oh, right ... the world of Philly (or is it South Jersey?) knuckleheads, coarse and crude to the last, in love with their own bitterness.

Hey, amigo, we're talking about baseball here, but if you want to talk football, please call us when Philly finally wins a Super Bowl. Meanwhile, go and root for that dog-killer. Woof! Woof! Redemption!

Posted by: hooverama | December 5, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Look I'm a long time Phillies fan. We knew he was leaving. But OMG to pay him for 7 years that kind of money is well......insane!! I can't even believe it. This is a guy who gets picked off base regularly. The joke in Philly is ....Who's running the Nats Obama, Reid and Pelosi?
Wow, I just keep laughing.

Posted by: bossrjc | December 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have no pitching, they have decent hitting, so what do they bet the farm on?

Yep, hitting.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | December 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Hooverama, I bet you loved the signing of McNabb too!! Ha Ha! Guess you love lookin' up from last place. Oh we'll have a few more to dump on DC in the next few years too. Ha!

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Posted by: abulaw | December 5, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

If they were going to spend that much money they should have made a run at Cliff Lee. I like Werth, and I know the Nats had to overpay to bring in talent, but they overpaid by 2 years and $40 million dollars. The last half of this deal is going to be an anchor on the team if ownership isn't willing to continue to greatly expand the payroll.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Can Adrian Beltre play first?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 5, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

First... Phillies fans - just Shut The F$&k UP! I'll deal with your fat, pathetic welfare loving A@$ at the appropriate time. To my fellow, long suffering DC sports fans - As a capitalist Im not fond of the deal. As a fan? I LOVE it!! I like the continuity. I like the foundation it builds. I like the fact I can identify with a hard nosed, workaholic whose values I share. This is way different than the Redskins signing a head case for $120 million.... Rizzo did his homework. We have a right fielder with a gun who can hit 3, 4, 5 in the lineup for years. For better or worse, he's ours for a long time - nobody is going to take that contract.. A guy of this character is a good bet. As for Dunn.... I feel bad for him... He was a Bowden guy... Pure power... But he does have glaring holes in his game and its not all defense. When the Nats add a first baseman this team is markedly improved.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 5, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

actually, the Lerners did invest heavily in the stadium adding millions in improvements that the City could not afford, but the point really has little to do with the stadium. It has to do with putting money in the product. They have done that and its time to stop crying cheap.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

actually, the Lerners did invest heavily in the stadium adding millions in improvements that the City could not afford, but the point really has little to do with the stadium. It has to do with putting money in the product. They have done that and its time to stop crying cheap.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Horrified. Aghast. Sad. Enraged. I'm happy to have Werth, of course -- he's a big improvement to the outfield. But A+ money for a B/B+ player is a disaster for almost any franchise, but especially a building one(rebuilding implies that they were good once -- they weren't). Ryan Zimmerman -- an actual A/A+ player -- must be wondering if the Lerners won the lottery!

I could get behind 3 and $54. I'd grit my teeth, but learn to live with 4 and $72. But 7 years at $18 million per? Come on, Nationals. Show some self respect! And don't try to spin it to those of us who plunk down good money, either. We see the Phillies enough to know that you don't build a franchise around Jayson Werth. Shameful. And to think we could have locked up Adam Dunn and his production for 3 and $36 last summer.

Carl Crawford, still waiting for his free-agent payday, must be dancing a jig!

Posted by: JeremyB | December 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay, if Werth gets the RF position, where does Bryce Harper go when he's called up in 2012? Wherever they put Harper, with the return of Strasburg 2012 is shaping up to be a great years for the Nats. Buy your season tickets early folks...

Posted by: plainspeaking | December 5, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I would have liked to see them dump this kind
of money on Konerko. We'll see how it goes

Posted by: AZ28 | December 5, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

So tired of people judging a team by whether or not the owners are cheap... Teddy.com wasn't cheap when he signed Jagr... Abe wasn't cheap when he re-signed Juwan... don't even need to mention Danny... and hell, even Angelos used to spend -- he had the original Fat Albert! So please just shut up about how great it is to have owners who spend money. I don't care what they spend as long as they win.

Posted by: SHLL | December 5, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Hi fellow Nats fans. I think Rizzo and Boras had a side deal. The Nats helped to raise the price tag on Mark T and now are helping to raise the price tag for Crawford and Lee this year and big Cecil next year. We took and overpaid for Pudge Boros last year as well. We might be able to get a discount on some of the other SB clients. We have Zimmerman locked up for 6 year along with Strassburg and Harper. When there contracts end JW's contract will only have one year left.

The last point: I can see not keeping Dunn as his stats were nice, but I can see the logic for not over paying for a DH.

I see another trade in the works involving Josh Willingham.(last year on contract).

These are just my thoughts.

Posted by: specialg7master | December 5, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Werth gives you more doubles ,better average, same walks and less strike outs. Now you complain they over pay? If he can play center and hit who cares. Werth, Desmond, Esinosa up the middle will be solid. Is eli marrero ready? He hit 306 in winter league PR. Morse/Marrero tandem at first. Pitching please .

Posted by: joeortega4 | December 5, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

specialg -
"We might be able to get a discount on some of the other SB clients."

Seriously?
That's kind of not legal, and very not ethical, and totally not Scott Boras.

You're suggesting we over pay for Werth and in turn Boras will make sure some other guys accept for less money? Never.

Also, Zimmerman's contract ends 2013.
Strasburg's ends 2012.
Werth's ends 2017.

Facts. Sometimes they're inconvenient.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Almost too many comments on here to even bother adding mine...

But put me in the camp that will sure miss Dunn (and wishes they re-signed him) but was ecstatic to see us sign Werth. A great pick-up.

Posted by: g3jr | December 5, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

To you guys complaining about the length of the deal.... The number of years was the ONE advantage that thte Nats had over everyone else... Without 7 years and he's signing with Boston... Would I prefer the contract risk or not having him at all? That one is easy for me.... Glad he's ours.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 5, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

If Werth can be productive for 5 years, we'll eat the last two and he can be a reserve. By then some underpaid young guns should be ready to fill in while he continues as a top reserve. Its about time something like this happened. NEXT?

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 5, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

This, from the same fans who boo'd Mike Schmidt. You know that he hated you all, right?

*****************
Look I'm a long time Phillies fan. We knew he was leaving. But OMG to pay him for 7 years that kind of money is well......insane!! I can't even believe it. This is a guy who gets picked off base regularly. The joke in Philly is ....Who's running the Nats Obama, Reid and Pelosi?
Wow, I just keep laughing.

Posted by: bossrjc | December 5, 2010 9:12 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 5, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn just burped.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 5, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

So tired of people judging a team by whether or not the owners are cheap... Teddy.com wasn't cheap when he signed Jagr... Abe wasn't cheap when he re-signed Juwan... don't even need to mention Danny... and hell, even Angelos used to spend -- he had the original Fat Albert! So please just shut up about how great it is to have owners who spend money. I don't care what they spend as long as they win.

Posted by: SHLL | December 5, 2010 9:44 PM

Let me say this clearly so you'll understand it...

THERE'S NO SALARY CAP IN BASEBALL

Posted by: Kev29 | December 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Kev29 -- thanks for speaking so CLEARLY, but my point remains the same, cap or no cap -- SPENDING MONEY DOES NOT EQUATE WITH WINNING.

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

8th in NL MVP last year, higher OPS than Zimmerman, a good glove in RF, a true 5 tool guy, runs the bases well, hits for power(well, this is the post steroid era, duh)46 doubles + 26 HRs... Clutch hitting... Missed about 2 full years with that wrist injury so he's a young 31 so to speak... I love it. We can talk Dunn until our faces turn blue. The guy flat out couldn't play defense and strikes out 200 times a year... 4 Years? Really? He's a in the AL where he belongs .. DH .. Give me Carlos Pena and his gold glove defense... He.s had 40+ HR seasons and a high OPS. Lets go out and get an ace via trade or fa in the meantime.

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | December 6, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting tired of all the negative comments about the deal made for Werth. Sure, it's a big gamble but it's not your money. I have a season pass because I love the Nationals and I'm glad to see a baseball team in Washington. Most baseball purist knew that it was going to take sometime to build a quality team and I believe the Learners and Rizzo are doing the best they can to bring a winner to Washington. I hated to see Dunn go but he is gone so get over it. If some of you complainers who do attend Nationals game, then you have something to complain about but for those who don't attend any games,you really have no reason to down play the trade. Support your team and hope for the best.

Posted by: nbrown32 | December 6, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Agree entirely with your sentiment Boz.

To those who claim its lunacy like those "GM's". Alderson is GM of a team whose owners were cleaned out in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The owners of the Redsox and Yankees are now in somewhat of a payroll reduction phase after recent extravagance.

Then here come the wealthiest owners in baseball who blow that armed security guard guarding Stark's baccarat room away with one Karate punch. They just instantly change all the variables almost demolish a carefully crafted trade for Adrian Gonzalez, forcing Boston to step away from Crawford. Now Crawford have only two suitors left that could possibly afford him. The Yankees and the former doormats known derisively as the "Natinals".

The playing field with Boston and NY may not be level with the Nats yet but this move certainly created an earthquake that brought it more than a few yards closer.

Posted by: periculum | December 7, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

If Fielder were a free agent maybe?

But he's not and the Nats aren't going to clean themselves out of prospects to get a Prince Fielder. Not going to happen. It might happen for a young, top of the rotation starting pitcher or two. But for Fielder? No chance what are you folks thinking? No way, no dice, not going to happen? Faggetaboutit.

They might trade for a left handed hitting first base prospect who is blocked by a better player. That blocked player might become another Fielder. I suspect that is the direction they might go given the dearth of left handed, good fielding first basemen in their system. Marerro and Moore are right handed and can't field. Bloxom has to prove he can do well in Potomac and Harrisburg.

They have a similar issue at CF. Only Eury Perez is out there currently and both Bernadina and Morgan are better in left field.

Again, their big problem is not a power hitting Prince Fielder type at first base. Its still STARTING PITCHING. And Pavano is not a top of the rotation starter he is like getting another Marquis.

Posted by: periculum | December 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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