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Winter Meetings: Former Dodgers OF Jayson Werth hits the free-agent jackpot

Werth_300 Former Dodgers outfielder Jayson Werth went from being a rich man to being a very, very rich man on Sunday, inking a seven-year, $126-million contract with the Washington Nationals on the eve of baseball’s winter meetings.

Asked if Werth would spend some of his newly acquired wealth to once again be treated by Vladimir Shpunt, Werth’s agent laughed.

"You’ve been reading too much," Scott Boras said.

Shpunt is a Russian physicist-turned-healer who used to be on the Dodgers’ payroll to beam positive energy from his Boston home to help the team win. When Werth was playing for the Dodgers in 2005 and plagued by wrist problems, he was referred to Shpunt by Jamie McCourt.

Werth left the Dodgers the following year and became a star of sorts with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he put himself into position to sign a deal that is equal in value and length to the contract Barry Zito signed with the San Francisco Giants in the winter of 2006-07.

The ramifications of the deal should be far-reaching, establishing a standard that will have to be exceeded by a team hoping to sign Carl Crawford, the top free-agent outfielder. The Angels are among the teams targeting Crawford.

Boras said he pushed the Nationals to commit to a long-term deal by saying he wanted to make sure Werth would still be with the rebuilding club when it became a contender.

Werth will be 38 when the deal expires.

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said he felt comfortable of awarding him a contract of that length because of the way he takes care of himself.

"Jayson’s best days haven’t been had yet," Rizzo said.

The Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles were among the other teams that pursued Werth, according to a baseball source familiar with the situation.

-- Dylan Hernandez in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Photo: Jayson Werth. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (24)

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thats ridiculous

Poor Nationals. They'll be as pleased with Werth as the Giants are with Zito.

According to Dave Campbell of ESPN, last year Werth was the poorest performer with men in scoring position in the league.

Dunn and Werth gone, and not to the Dodgers. Excellent news. Now somebody who is not the Dodgers needs to sign Beltre.

Yeah, what a burning desire to win. Signs with the Nats. I read where Boras said it was because Werth believed in what they were trying to build with the farm system. Right. Even Werth's mother would laugh at that one. These guys are all the same. The Nats offered $126 million; another team probably offered $125.999 million and Werth told them to pound sand. Er ... I mean, told them he didn't 'believe in what they were building.'

Wow, seven years and $126 million? That's impressive. Werth is a very good player, but I'm not sure he's worth that much. I'm pretty sure Carl Crawford is smiling right now knowing he's gonna really clean up.

How dare these greedy free agents like Werth,Crawford,Lee and other big name players refuse to sign with the Dodgers. frank wanted to sign you for about 8mil.All you had to do is sign a rider that if you got hurt while playing for frank, you forfeited your salary. Hey whats wrong with that? frank needs the money for his next house and his next ex-wife. Quit being so greedy! frank guarantees second place next year and maybe even,Are you ready for this? The National League West championship. Thats all we play for in Los Angeles. frank and his millionaire buddies seem to think thats way more than enough to satisfy us. These free agent stars are just too greedy for frank, he will stand on principle and not pursue them, unless they are willing to agree to the afore mentioned terms. THANK GOD FOR frank

OMG - Milwaukee rumored to be after Greinke with Ryan Braun in trade. Milwaukee reported to be in desperate need of pitching. RYAN BRAUN available ???
Los Angeles local boy, young, affordable contract, signed through 2016 "Hebrew Hammer", AS, ROY, Silver Slugger, best LF in game, once a 3B man ( not good in field though) - AVAILABLE for pitching.
How many fannies would be in the seats for him. He would be a Hollywood Golden Boy - more popular than Manny - pay for his contract many times over.I would trade XPaul, Hu, Elbert, Withrow and any more pitching prospects the Brewers want\are you listening Ned/ Mr. McCourt?

Haha thank you frank for not offering this contract...And I thought the Holliday contract was terrible at least holliday can put a team on his back and carry his team..I almost bursted out laughing at this contract..Look Werth is a force when he has Utley and Howard in the lineup he is a good player but will never be that headline player...Kirk paul hu and elbert really really that equals nothing have u taken a look at Withrow and his problems..come on Braun wont be traded he is to affordable..if you want braun the starting point is kershaw and bills..Please be intelligent guys..He is a Cy young award winner come on

Do you really think they are going to hold onto Fielder...He is going to get traded so why would they trade Braun they have no offense when both are gone...they just got Marcum..6.5 mill this year and 8 mill next year and he is locked up until 2015 he is not going anywhere

That's why these guys want Boras as their agent. Team and/or fan loyalty doesn't exist anymore, and this kind of money is why. This will backfire miserably for the Nats just like the ARod deal backfired embarrassingly for Texas.

Let me be perfectly clear.
There is a lot of money to be made by those who choose to work the system in Washington DC.

I'm usually wrong so I'd venture all Colletti will pick up are some relievers.

Good call Kirk.

The nats will always have to over pay.


Show me the funny.

Seriously though, when your GM routinely turns over 40-50% of his ML roster on a yearly basis you're NEVER going to sign a difference maker because there's just too many holes to plug. The increase in payroll this offseason HAD to happen or Franky would be fielding a little league team and lose even more attendance. The real question is, how can a GM allow his club to even remotely be in a position where it needs 3 starters, 2B, LF, and C all in the same offseason? Not to mention a bench and a couple of capable arms in the bully? That's 6 major holes to fill on a roster with what - an increase in payroll of maybe $20 mil? With Neddy its always going to come down to either making that one big sign and leaving 4-5 other gaping holes, or signing a multitude of middling performers to fill as many gaps as possible to make the team "competitive." And since competitive is all that Frank's about to keep butts in the seats, that's all we'll ever get. Winning isn't on the menu unless its a fluke season like the Gints just had. And with that kind of roster turnover, there's never going to be any continuity from season to season either. All Frank cares about is the next mansion, and Ned's just plain clueless as to how to put together a team. Put them together and well, you see what happens.

Thank you and congratulations, Jayson Werth $$ Jayson just made Ethier and Kemp work a lot harder and that should be good for the Dodgers.....for that matter, from here on out, I'm gonna make sure my kid works out a lot harder $$

kjp nailed it.

>Dunn and Werth gone, and not to the Dodgers. Excellent news. Now somebody who is not the Dodgers needs to sign Beltre.<

Nuff said.

Posted by: Labeldude | 12/05/2010 at 09:30 PM
exactly. and this guy was handed a bunch of young talent that had previously filled out the roster, unless of course he didnt allow them to.

he gives away a budding career to play for a celler dweller .....?

what'a loser.

HEY! I just had a "Hebrew Hammer" this afternoon Pico's Deli ...

Come on blue you cant blame this one on Colleti. He couldnt tell last year that Martin and deWitt/ Theriot were going to flop. Not only that there were young pitchers that didnt step up ex:elbert. Sherrrill just enough said. Look how many moving pieces the Giants had. Every team has moving pieces you cant lock everyone up nor should you. Lets look at the WS winter they had to resign or replace a SS,2nd,LF/1st. Free agency provides a revolving door for every team. You are going to be able to change that.

Werth was always the real-deal, his hard work just paid off. Good for you Jason.

does this mean the beard gets shaved?

All i can say is... wow.
The Nationals? how on earth and why on earth would they pay that much for a player like Jason Werth? dont get me wrong, i know worth is a very aggressive player and knows how to take it down a notch to get things going I.E. barely swinging the bat and puching singles into right field.. but there is NO way that he is worth this kind of money... Scott Boras is a magic man, he must do some crazy voodoo tricks on GM's or he gives really good face.

This is crazy insane, $126 million for Werth, good player, but $126 million? Are you freakin' kidding me? Looks like the baseball "leaders" in DC are as stupid in handling money as the politicians in DC. This is asigning they will long regret.


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