• January 22, 2022

So Far, Phillies Decision To Not Pay Werth Is Looking Good

A year ago, Phillies fans believed that it was essential for the team to resign outfielder Jayson Werth. Coming off of a career year in 2009 (in which he hit 34 homeruns and drove in 99 runs), he began the first part of 2010 on an absolute tear hitting .359 into the first week in May. He looked as though he was just as important to the offense as Ryan Howard or Chase Utley.

After his hot start, Werth cooled off dramatically and didn’t look like the same player. While he was still a bat that opponents needed to respect, something in his approach changed and made him significantly less effective. He hit 22 doubles in the first two months of the season, and hit a combined 24 doubles in the final four months of 2010. The Illinois native then went through a dramatic slump in June and August, where he only drove in eight runs in each month.

Though he never regained the elite form that he had to begin the 2010 season, Werth still kept his batting average at a respectable .296, and had done enough to earn the massive payday he had been seeking.

However, the Phillies saw that Werth wasn’t truly an elite offensive player. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. compared Werth to fellow outfielder Raul Ibanez, and today that comparison doesn’t seem so absurd.

In 2010 Ibanez hit .275, 16 homeruns, 83 RBIs, and 37 doubles. Werth hit .296, 27 homeruns, 87 RBIs, and 46 doubles.

This season Ibanez is hitting .243, eight homeruns, 32 RBIs, and 15 doubles. Werth is hitting just .232 with 10 homeruns, 27 RBIs, and 13 doubles.

While Werth still offers more power and better defensive skills, but their overall offensive production is about the same. Werth has been a major disappointment so far in Washington. He was expected to come in and be the anchor of that offense, and his .232 average and 62 strikeouts aren’t helping him live up to expectations.

Werth was a good fit with the Phillies when the players around him were performing at a high level. When the players around him began to struggle last season, he too became less effective, and was never able to show that he could step up and carry the team like a truly elite player could.

When the Phillies saw this last season, they decided that Werth wasn’t really much better than Ibanez, and they knew that a long-term, lucrative commitment to him would be a mistake. He made no significant difference last season when the offense was struggling, and he wouldn’t have had a different impact on the struggling offense this year either. After learning from their mistake in giving Ibanez a big deal, the Phillies weren’t about to make the same mistake twice.

While it doesn’t give the Phillies a pass for not properly addressing their offensive problems before the season, the decision not to give Jayson Werth a big contract looks like a good one so far.

Denny Basens

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17 Comments

  • For you to even compare Werth & Ibanez, gives you ZERO credibility. Ibanez, plays LF not RF & he sucks. Yeah & the Phils did such a great job at replacing him in RF, with the garbage of Brown, Francisco, Mayberry, Martinez & Gload. Yeah real difference makers. Give me a F^@#ING break. Look at the slop Werth is surrounded by. Zimmerman has been out all year, & Espinosa is the only other good player on the team. If Amaro didn’t hamstring the payroll with the absurd & idiotic contracts to- Howard, Blanton, Ibanez, Lidge, Baez, & Romero, they could have resigned him with no problem. Get real, get a clue & give me a break.

  • I wanted the Phils to pursue 2 Right-handed OF’s this past Off-season to replace some of Werth’s production
    RF Jeff Francouer (signed a cheap 2 year deal with KC ROyals) and is
    batting .262 with 9 HR’s and 43 RBI’s and plays a good RF with a very strong arm comparable to Werth’s.. (he was signed for $2.5 and well werth it)
    RF/LF Matt Diaz signed a $2.1 Million Deal with the Pirates and is batting .255 in a part-time/platoon situation. He is versatile and can play LF/RF and be a solid Right-hand bat off the bench for Pitch-Hitting

    I think both of these players were upgrades over Francisco who is making $1.125 Million and is batting .218 with 6 HR’s and 25 RBI’s in a 175 At Bats and is not the defensive player or contact hitter that Francouer or Diaz are..

  • I had no problem of the Phils letting Werth walk and there is no way that Werth was worth the Contract that the Nationals gave him but best of luck for Werth.. I was disappointed that the Phils didn’t upgrade and were counting on an OF group of Victoring,Ibanez,Francisco and Rookie Brown which is probably one the weakest OF groups collectivley in all of MLB.. When you think about the Offensive Production only Victorino is consistent in all phases of the game.. The other 3 probably have a hard time making a Major League Roster as everyday players in my opinion..

  • Amaro is an idiot. I’m going to be called a hater, but like I’ve said before, what great moves exactly has Amaro done to improve this team beside’s Halladay, Oswalt & paid more than anyone else. That wasn’t a brilliant move. The rest of the team & the core nucleus was put together by Wade & Gillick. All Amaro has done is bring in rule 5 stiffs, journeymen bums, & resigned our own players to unwarranted, absurd contracts. He jumped the gun last year giving Howard the 25 million dollar contract, Baez, Romero, Lidge, Blanton contracts are disasters, Ibanez to replace Burrell was idiotic, & he replaced Werth with the three stooges. Although Polanco is good, we should have signed Beltre instead, but he went on the cheap. Now before you go calling me nuts or a hater because they are in 1st place, with the best record, let me tell you I love the Phils & will route for them regardless. But this teams offense is putrid, anemic, old & the outfield is flat out terrible. If the offense was anything solid we could have at least another 10 wins, with all of those great pitching performances of Halladay, Lee & Hamels. For God sakes they scored ZERO runs for Lee in 4 straight games. Maybe i’m overreacting, but after this year Amaro is going to have do a minor rebuild. Good luck with that.

  • Has he made some bad moves, absolutely, but you are clearing ignoring the fact that he put together the best pitching staff that this town has ever seen.

    And you are looking at this as revisionist history. When did Lidge get his money? Right after he was a perfect 48 for 48 in saves and closed out the WS clinching game. Did you think that that was a bad deal at the time? Blanton’s contract wasn’t really over the top considering the pitcher that he is and what he did to get it.

    Baez was a horrible signing and Romero can’t pitch anymore. I can’t argue those.

    The Ibanez deal hasn’t worked out, but neither has Burrell. What was the player that you wanted at that time instead of Ibanez? Looked to be a good signing at the time.

    As far as the 3 stooges go. Look at their combined stats and you will see almost no drop-off from what Werth is doing this year. If you want to blame that on the Nationals, then go ahead, but I don’t see how you can blame a .233 average on the players around him. Do you honestly think that he is worth the contract that the Nats gave him. If so, then I have a bridge that I want to sell you.

    You have complained about lack of young talent before, but you continue to ignore Dom Brown and even Singleton in the minors who started the season as MLB’s 30th ranked prospect. Not to mention Bastardo and Stutes emerging as legit back end bullpen studs. And Worley will end up being the 5th starter.

    They do have some holes in the lineup right now, but they should have money to do it as a lot of contracts come off the books next year.

    Dude, enjoy the ride right now, because the team is almost completely healthy and the runs will come. Even if they don’t the team will be in every game with their staff and bullpen.

  • ddcar is a paulman disciple, or maybe Howard Eskin or both

  • Phils will have big Contracts coming off next year in Lidge,Oswalt,Ibanez,Baes, Schneider which totals approx $40 Million for just these 5 players… but they have some important players they have to lock in like C Hamels & R Madson to long-term deals and make an Improtant decision on what to do w/Jimmy Rollins.. Rollins has been a caree-long Phillie and has been a great player and really was the catalyst for the Phils turnaround from 5-6 years ago. I would think everyone , including himself wants to remain a Phillie until he retires.. The question becomes does J Ro agree take a serious pay cut to remain here..His days of earning a $8-$10 million a year Salary are over as he ages and his skills diminish.. I would offer a 3 year $16-$18 Million Deal with some incentives about Games Played, Offensive Stats,etc,etc.. He’s still a great fielder and mentor to younger players but the onus will be on him on whether he will be happy staying in Philly at a reduced Salary and if he’s ok with it, then great. If he is not ok with it, then look for him to test Free-Agency and head out west to San Francisco/Oakland for more $$4 and move close to where he’s originally from.. I don’t see the Phils getting into any bidding war for him at this stage of his carerr..
    Phils overall are in preetty good shape due to having great Pitchers locked up for a while, IF the get Hamels & Madson locked in for 4-5 Years, then they will have a very good staff for the foreseeable future. A concern is the Infield where all the players are in their 30’s with lots of games played and injuries starting to creep up.. Polanco,Rollins,Utley & Howard are collectively the oldest starting Infield in the MLB and really only have 2 years of high production left (outside of Howard) to be very effective everyday players..who do the Phils have to take over..even the versatile W Valdez is 32 years old…
    The OF is another area of rebuilding where outside of Victorino and D Brown, everyone else is probably not returning in 2012. Ibanez,Francisco, and even Mayberrry Jr will most likely move on I see the Phils keeping R Gload for his pinch-hitting, and playing RF/1B occasionally.
    Then the comes down to players like J Blanton who has a big contract and simply is not earning it, Do the Phils eat some of his contract and trade him away for a younger position players or 2, who can be groomed down the road and do you keep him as for 4th/5th For next year when Oswalt most likey retires.. K Kendrick is another player who probably has more value than Blanton for he’s younger, can start,long relief, and has blossomed into a versatile Pitcher to have on your staff and of course, his salary is very affordable for any team… .

  • DDcar you are completely overreacting, they have the best rotation in baseball and the best record. Not sure what else you want them to do. Go undefeated? People in Philly have been overreacting all season about the phils. The staff Amaro put together is legendary but also gave the people of philly expectations that are almost impossible to attain. When the Phillies lose one game, fans act like the season is falling apart. Its a very long season and every team has ups and downs. As long as everyone is healthy we should pretty easily make it to the world series.

  • paulman, most of us up here don,t care about long term, we are enjoying this year, last night’s game, tonight’s game, we are not like you and eskin, when phils win, its because they played a bad team, they are lucky, when they lose its they will not win in the fall, let me give you some sage advice: live for the moment, you do not have yesterday and you may not have tomorrow, to borrow a jroc, ‘GOOD GRIEF’

  • I agree JAake that most fans don’t look longer-term with their teams, but suscessful teams (like the Phils,Yankees,Red Sox,Cardinals,Braves) always have their eyes looking down the road which is one of the reasons they remain successful… Anything less than a WS appearance with a Championship would have to be considered a failure for this 2011 Phils team, they have the best Starting Pitching and 3-4 highly paid everyday position players who must step up and perform.. They are, after all, the 2nd Highest Salary team in all MLB just behind the Yankees, so no excuses..
    i do like like how they are playing recently and have seemed to get a little bump from the return of Utley who is just getting into form and playing well since his return which is a great sign for them moving forward..

  • BUGS, all great points but, it was the years that I have the problem with. Yes I did have a problem at the time he signed Lidge & Blanton. They should have resigned Burrell. You forget he helped SF win the World Series last year. Dom Brown stinks, what the hell has he done but look idiotic & awkward at the plate & the field. To make a long story short, I love the Phils to the end, but it doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t adequately replace either Burrell or Werth, & the rest of the OF is garbage.
    Damn, Jake, you compared me to Eskin! That hurts. I hate that d!@#hole. Paul how do the Phils look long term. They are the oldest team in the majors, with no good position prospects to be found. All their good almost ready prospects are pitchers. Singleton is good but stuck behind Howard, is another lefty & is being forced to switch to the OF. They’re going to need OF’s, 3B, 2B, SS & C real soon.

  • Dd the reference to eskin was a low blow but calling you a disciple to paul man that was worse

  • Jake, BWAHAHA!!! LMFBO!!! GO PHILS! Paul is harmless, he’s just mad that he has too much time on his hands now, because his fantasy sports leagues disbanded, & he no longer has his commissioner position. LOL!! Sorry Paul. It was a must 😀

  • All of you need to chill out…GMs don’t hit home runs on every move they make. Don’t forget Amaro has been a long time assistant GM and Gillick is still a valuable consultant…having said this, anyone complaining about the phillies right now is selfish and ignorant…every team has problems but I’d rather have the phillies problems then 29 other teams in baseball, and so would they. This is the best team ever assembled in our long storied history, stop complaining and remember the season is a a grind and we have the team best suited to deal with it. Enough with the pessimism already, Philly teams are looking on the up for once…stop complaining and enjoy it or go root for the mets if ya wanna complain so much…

  • The Pat Burrell argument is silly, he was a terribly inconsistent player his whole career here. How much did he really help San Fran to win the World Series last year? I’m no huge Ibanez fan, but I would still take him any day over Pat the Bat. To say the rest of the OF is garbage is nonsense, Shane Victorino is an excellent fielder and swings the stick pretty well for a guy his size. He is certainly a catalyst type player that has the ability to get his team going. The Werth/Ibanez comparison is a realistic one, in fact when all is said and done, my guess is that Ibanez’s career in total will be better than Werth’s.

  • 1st of all Birdz, the word fan is short for fanatic, which I am. I love my Philly teams. For you to come on here & call someone selfish & ignorant is idiotic. In what way am I ignorant. If wanting my teams to be better, is selfish, so be it. BTW, the last time I looked this was the USA, not the Middle East. I have the right to freedom of speech & my opinions & complaints, as does anyone on here. If you don’t like it don’t read my comments. Yeah, I know i’m over reacting, so what. Also who the hell are you to tell anyone with a opinion, to go route for the Mets. Take your pom pom waving a$$ to Iran were you belong. If you can’t think openly, & realistically, that’s your problem. I love the Phillies, but with that lineup & bench they will not win the World Series. I don’t care if they have 5 Cy Young’s.

  • EMONEY, I meant to exclude Victorino, he is one of my favorite players with Howard, Utley, Poly & the big 3 (Halladay, Lee & Hamels). Lately Oswalt is getting on my nerves.

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