As expected, free-agent slugger Jayson Werth declined an offer of salary arbitration from the Phillies before Tuesday’s midnight deadline. Had Werth accepted arbitration, he would have become a signed player for 2011 with his salary to be determined by an arbitration panel. Instead, Werth remains a free agent, eligible to sign with any team for best market value. While the Phillies remain in contention for Werth’s services, they now have officially exhausted all possibility of exclusive negotiations.
Werth, 31, is seeking a long-term, top-dollar contract. Rumor is that the Phillies had offered a 3-year deal for $55 million. The Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs and Tigers appear to be suitors for his services as well as the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and any other team looking to contend in 2011. . The Phillies are monitoring the market for Werth but would prefer to sign him to a short-term deal, such as three or four years. Werth is expected to get more on the open market.
By offering Werth arbitration, the Phillies will receive two top picks in the June draft should he sign with another club. Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1st round (22nd pick) of the 1997 amateur draft, Werth spent time in both the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers systems before becoming a Phillies reclamation project in 2006. Werth battled injuries and developmental struggles and then became a late-blooming five tool platoon player for the Phills in 2007 and 2008. Werth proved himself a premiere player and solid starter in 2009 and 2010 posting .296 AVG with 27 HR and 85 RBI in 2010.
It is likely that Werth’s agent Scott Boras will live up to his reputation and find Werth the most lucrative contract for his services. Werth of course wants to find the best situation with a contending team. Does Werth want to hit third? Maybe he wants to head close to his hometown of Springfield, IL? Possibly he wants to head for an American League team that could meet the Phillies in the World Series?
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org