You can’t blame Jayson Werth for taking the money. This was what Werth had been looking forward to for his entire career. With a World Series ring already in his possession, Werth had only one thing in his career that had eluded him: a lucrative contract.
Werth made it no secret that he was going to take the best deal on the table. He made it no secret that there would be no hometown discount. Werth has gone down a long road to get to the day that he finally got his big contract.
After suffering a broken wrist in Spring Training of the 2005 season, Werth’s career went on a downward spiral. He missed the entire 2006 season, and found himself on the scrap heap before the Phillies gave him an opportunity to revive his career. Werth finally put his career back on track with the Phillies, and made himself into a desirable asset again.
Werth got a fantastic offer from the Nationals, one that he couldn’t refuse. Did the Nationals overpay for Werth? Absolutely. They gave Werth the 12th richest contract in the history of baseball. The only way they could land Werth was to overpay for him, and give him whatever he wanted. The Nationals did just that, and they go their man.
Werth is being paid as though he is a cornerstone of an organization. He is not of that caliber. While Werth brings quite a bit to the table, he isn’t a guy who by himself will strike fear into the hearts of the average pitchers in the league.
Just as Werth can’t be blamed for taking the money, the Phillies can’t be blamed for not matching the offer. Ruben Amaro has already seen the dangers of giving a big contract to an outfielder that lasts until his late 30s. The Phillies are tied into Raul Ibanez for one more season, and don’t know what to expect from the soon to be 39 year old outfielder. The organization doesn’t want to have history repeat itself and be paying Werth big money into his late 30s.
Werth gave the Phillies four good seasons, and helped them win the second championship in the franchise’s history. Werth dreamed his whole career of this day. With a championship already in hand, and the Phillies offering him a contract worth just under half of what the Nationals were, how can you blame Werth for fulfilling his dream?