Tag: jayson werth

Offseason Changes: Nationals

Following with our brief series on offseason changes around the NL East, today we look at the Nationals.

In: Jayson Werth, Tom Gorzelanny, Adam LaRoche, Henry Rodriguez, Rick Ankiel, Chad Gaudin, Chien-Ming Wang, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Todd Coffey, Matt Stairs, Alex Cora, Cla Meredith, Corey Brown

Out: Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Justin Maxwell, Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Willie Harris, Adam Kennedy, Miguel Batista, Kevin Mench, Tyler Walker, Scott Olsen

The Washington Nationals certainly were busy this winter; if nothing else, the team will be different.

The big news, of course, was Jayson Werth’s 7-year, bazillion-dollar contract — which seemingly overshadowed the departures of Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham. Werth is a solid player and an offensive force, but will he make up for the exit of Dunn?

Werth will get offensive help from first baseman Adam LaRoche, who gets little respect despite posting consistent, admirable numbers year in and year out. LaRoche is no star, and tends to be a second-half hitter, but he’s reliable and will hold his own as a #5 or #6 hitter.

I’m not sure where Rick Ankiel and the other veteran bats fit into the equation, but it appears as though the Nats will have a solid, experienced bench. I’m guessing Ankiel and Hairston are insurance against Michael Morse and/or Roger Bernadina not making forward strides.

After Werth, the pitching additions are the most exciting for Washington. Tom Gorzelanny steps into a rotation that has always needed stability. Chien-Ming Wang isn’t really an “addition” since he was rehabbing with the club last year, but if he can make a comeback it could be key to Washington’s chances of climbing out of the cellar. Henry Rodriguez — acquired in the trade that sent Willingham to Oakland — is a young, hard-throwing righthander who touches triple digits and seemed to turn a corner with his control in 2010. I also like the signings of Chad Gaudin, Cla Meredith, and Todd Coffey, veteran relievers who could win spots in middle relief. Gaudin in particular is intriguing, as he once made 34 starts for the A’s and should benefit by getting out of the AL East; whether he gets the chance to break into the Nats rotation remains to be seen. Meredith also could benefit by leaving the Beast; he was a strong performer for the Padres previously, and his 2010 performance was likely impacted by bone chips that were removed from his elbow after the season.

Finally, I’m happy to see Matt Stairs still hacking. His all-or-nothing approach and flair for the dramatic as a pinch-hitter is fun to watch — as long as he’s not hitting game-ending homers against the Mets.


Monday Meetings Recap

A quick recap of what happened at the baseball winter meetings in Orlando, Florida on Sunday / Monday.

Adrian Gonzalez was officially traded to the Red Sox

Jayson Werth signed a 7-year, $126M deal with the Nationals

Shaun Marcum was traded to the Brewers

Melvin Mora signed with the Diamondbacks

J.J. Putz signed with the Diamondbacks

Mark Reynolds was traded by the D-Backs to the Orioles

Kevin Correia agreed to a two-year, $8M deal with the Pirates

Aaron Harang signed with the Padres

Lance Berkman signed with the Cardinals

Russ Adams and Dusty Ryan signed minor-league deals with the Mets

Omir Santos signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers

– Pat Gillick was voted into the Hall of Fame. OK, nothing against Gillick — he was an amazing GM, and congrats to him — but how in the world does he get into the HOF before Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner? Love them or hate them (I hate Miller), how is it that two people whose influence had as much of an impact on the sport as anyone over the past 40 years, are not properly recognized by an institution honoring baseball history? I guess Steinbrenner is left out because of the Nixon contributions and the Howie Spira thing, but how is Miller not voted in? And again, I hate Miller, but he is a significant figure who played a major part in shaping the game as we know it today. But then, maybe that’s exactly the reason he remains on the outside looking in.


Phillies To Acquire Oswalt?

According to ESPN columnist Jayson Stark, via Twitter:

According to sources close to the situation, a Jayson Werth trade is imminent and further, the Phillies have stepped up their efforts to acquire an arm with the news that Jamie Moyer has an elbow strain.

With Werth slumping badly lately, the Phillies are looking to dump him for pitching and to make room for phenom Domonic Brown, who is hitting .360 with 4 HR in his first 20 games in AAA. The Astros could be interested in dumping Oswalt’s salary and taking on Werth, who is likely to be a Type A free agent and net the ‘stros two first-round picks when he walks in the winter. Though, the Phils might also have to add in a young pitcher such as J.A. Happ (who was pulled in the third inning of a minor league start) or Andrew Carpenter.

More likely, though, the Phillies will be trading Werth to a team hungry for a bat (Rays?) in return for a player (Andy Sonnanstine?) or players who will then be moved for the arm or arms they need. In addition to Oswalt, the Phillies have reportedly been in discussions for Dan Haren, Jeremy Guthrie, and Ben Sheets.

Meanwhile, the Mets might be interested in Jake Westbrook.

Can you imagine a Phillies team with Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt heading their starting rotation? Yes, they are struggling all around right now but what a shot in the arm (pardon the pun) such an acquisition would be. Just as significant, the Phillies would start the 2011 season with the two best Roys in baseball.


Video: Jayson Werth Goes Full Wally on a Fan

Well, maybe not FULL Wally Backman, but a quarter-Wally… or an eighth?

Just to put Werth’s frustration into context, this is from the 12th inning of last night’s game.

A young child may have been scarred for life last night after his father, who was in perfect position to catch a foul ball, didn’t yield to the advances of mountain man Jayson Werth as he also attempted to catch the fly. Except, you know, if Jayson Werth caught the ball it’d end up as an out instead of a memento on top of the fireplace. Unfortunately for the Phillies and the virgin ears of the foul ball catcher’s kid, the dad caught the ball and Werth unleashed a string of cuss words that would’ve sent him straight to the principal’s office. At least Werth can claim he was just trying to expand the young boy’s vocabulary. (With Leather)

My gut reaction was that a fan should ALWAYS get out of the way in a situation like this, ESPECIALLY if it would help the team he is rooting for… However, consider this:

  • The fan did not reach over the railing, as the ball was clearly going to land in the stands.
  • The fan was watching the ball, not Werth, so he probably didn’t realize Werth was upon him until the last second
  • If the fan doesn’t go for the ball, he better hope Werth catches it or else that ball is going to hit him or his kid

That’s alot to be thinking about with a ball falling directly onto your head.

In case you’re wondering, the Phillies won the game in the bottom of the inning on Brian Scheidner’s walk-off home run.