On Saturday morning WTEM has a baseball show hosted by Al Galdi, that does a real good job at covering Nationals and O’s news of the week. One of the thing that continues to bother me about Galdi is his infatuation with the Jayson Werth contract. Late in the show he did a segment about Jayson Werth which was great , because he deserves the recognition for the season he had this year. I have yet to hear Galdi talk about Werth without bringing up his contract. It always sounds something like JaysonWerthsevenyears126million had a good year. So, I challenged him on it after his show on twitter:
My point was pretty straight forward: This year there is a very good case to be made that Werth was the best hitter in the National League. You would expect the best hitter in the National League to be well compensated wouldn’t you? Isn’t he performing exactly like Rizzo said he would when he was signed. The 2013 season was his best hitting season, better than any he had in Philly. He is one of those players that is peaking late in his career.
Galdi is not wrong about a 38 year old Werth. It is hard to imagine the he will duplicate the 2013 year numbers the last year of his contract. The point is, he put up elite level numbers now, that is the price of elite free agents. The Nats believe his intelligent approach to the game will allow him to have a long productive career.
At the beginning of the season, my brother and I had the argument about the Werth contract. It can be read here. It covers all the angles about the contract not including this season’s perfomance
One thing our argument didn’t cover was the other MLB contracts that far exceed the money paid to Werth. Werth’s 126M contract is only the 26th richest in MLB history and on a yearly average adjusted to inflation it barely registers in the top 40. I guess, that by the time the contract expires it will be well bellow the top 50.
Why the continued fixation. Three of the the final four teams in the MLB playoffs have payrolls in the top five and the Cards payroll is greater than the Nats. These teams have players under contract like Ethier, Holliday, Fielder, and Crawford whom you could argue are also overpaid , but you could also argue that the talent those players bring to the team is worth overpaying. One could also argue that teams need to overpay stars if they expect to win in the playoffs.
Here is the listing of the biggest contracts in MLB history:
My point is this: For the DC market to keep talking about the Werth contract like it is an unprecedented huge contract is really silly. There are longer, richer, and dumber ones out there. It shows lack of understanding about baseball free agency and the business of baseball.
Can we just call him Jayson Werth rather than JaysonWerthsevenyears126million, I think he has earned it.
- Year End: Jayson Werth is one of the best hitters in baseball and had the best season of his career (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- Could the Nationals hire Jayson Werth as a Player/Manager? (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- A Werthy Candidate (curlyw.mlblogs.com)
- Jayson Werth Has Led The Charge To The Nationals Fringe Playoff Chance (mlbreports.com)