Question of the day: Should Jayson Werth have taken the money or gone to a contender?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on outfielder Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126-million deal with the lowly Washington Nationals. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
On the eve of free agency, when any good agent could have gotten a good contract for Jayson Werth, the outfielder fired his agent and hired Scott Boras. That is the guy you hire to extract every possible dollar out of a deal, and so you knew Werth would go for the money rather than the contender if he had to make the choice.
And why not? Werth did not become a major league regular until he was 29. He will turn 32 next season. This was his first shot at free agency, and almost certainly his best shot.
He already knows the glory of riding in a World Series championship parade. If we salute star athletes who jump to contending teams because they have made their money and want a chance at a ring, why not salute one who has a ring and wants his chance at the money?
Mandy Housenick, The Morning Call
Jayson Werth wasn’t fooling anyone. Since the day he hired agent Scott Boras last summer, Werth made it clear he was all about the money. He only made that more obvious when, just after the season ended, he talked about how “absolutely” excited he was to be a free agent. “I definitely had a good time playing here,” Werth said then -– already speaking about Philadelphia in the past tense.
If he wants the money, be my guest. The Phillies fill their roster with players who care about winning, about their fellow teammates and about doing things the right way.
Werth is not one of them. If he did, he would have done what Ryan Howard did in April: sign for less money to ensure he was playing in a city filled with passionate fans and for a club dedicated to racking up playoff berths. He won’t be getting much of either in Washington, D.C., anytime soon.
Photo: Jayson Werth. Credit: Lynne Sladky / Associated Press