Tag:Jayson Werth
Posted on: November 17, 2010 8:59 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 5:47 am

Wednesday evening rumor roundup

Hot Stove Wednesday wasn't quite as exciting as Tuesday's rumor-mongering at the GM meetings, but hey, we did get a trade and an overpaid free agent signing, so it wasn't all that different. Here's some of the other stuff that went down -- or has been talked about -- 'round Orlando and beyond.

• The Rockies are interested in Jon Garland, but aren't looking to offer much beyond a one-year deal. (Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman via Twitter )

• The Nationals are one of "six or eight" teams to have talked with Twins free agent starter Carl Pavano. (Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post )

• The Brewers hope to extend second baseman Rickie Weeks, who will be a free agent following the 2011 season. (Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel )

• Jorge de la Rosa will move quickly on signing, preferably signing before the Cliff Lee sweepstakes is wrapped up. He'll jump on an offer from the Nationals or Pirates if the terms are right. (Troy Renck of the Denver Post )

• The Rockies have been aggressive in Orlando with trades and free agents. The team has interest in Oakland third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. (Renck via Twitter)

• Miguel Olivo is drawing interest from the Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays. (FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi )

• The White Sox are interested in Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon to fill their need of a left-handed hitter, but aren't expected to make a move until after the Dec. 2 non-tender date. (Chicago Tribune 's Phil Rogers )

• The Phillies have done "extensive" groundwork on a deal for the White Sox's Carlos Quentin, who would replace Jayson Werth. (ESPN.com's Jayson Stark )

• Oakland, Toronto and Colorado have interest in Kansas City's Alex Gordon. (MLB.com's Dick Kaegel )

• Tsuyoshi Nishioka was officially posted on Wednesday (U.S. time), so the bidding will close at 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. The Giants, Twins, Cardinals, Orioles, Mariners, Padres, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Red Sox have all been mentioned by Japanese media as teams with interest. (YakyuBaka.com )

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 11, 2010 10:19 am

Report: 'Zero' chance Werth stays in Philly

Jayson Werth Not all national writers are the same when it comes to certain teams. All national baseball writers have to live somewhere and start somewhere. That's why when it comes to Phillies stuff, if I hear it from ESPN's Jayson Stark, I take it to the bank.

Stark talked to a "Phillies source" on the odds Philadelphia can bring back Jayson Werth. The answer? "No chance. None. Zero."

Stark says it's not the money as much as the years, as the Phillies don't want to be tied down to Werth in his advanced years. Werth will turn 32 next season and will be looking for a long-term contract, five or six years. With Domonic Brown coming, Philadelphia doesn't what to be hamstrung with an aging Werth.

An interesting addition, Stark throws Jeff Francoeur as a name out there as a stop-gap solution for Philly.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 1:26 pm

Boras' words don't bode well for Werth's return

Scott Boras
Scott Boras thinks the Phillies are on financial par with the Yankees. And he thinks Jayson Werth is a bigger free agent than Carl Crawford.

This is not good news if you're a Phillies fan who would like to see Werth continue to wear red pinstripes rather than dark blue ones.

"We have, in my mind, probably the most coveted offensive player in the free-agent market," Boras told MLB.com. "Carl Crawford is a really great player, but the truth of the matter is, Werth scores as many runs, and his on-base percentage is the same. Werth is a guy that can play center field and has played center field recently. He's a Gold Glove-type outfielder. Crawford is, too. But the big difference is that Werth has 87 home runs over the last three years and Crawford has 42."

Uh oh. This could mean Boras is going to hold out and see how much Crawford gets (the answer: enough to buy Paraguay) and then expect teams to go one better for Werth. Can the Phillies afford to do that?

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently that they can, but the numbers the Phillies already have on the books are pretty formidable. They have $147 million committed to 16 players next season. If they keep all those players, they still have to pay nine more, and if one of them is Werth at $15 million or more, that puts the Phillies in luxury tax territory, a land currently inhabited only by those guys from the Bronx. The tax cutoff is $178 million.

Boras thinks the Phillies should be in that neighborhood.

"The Yankees are a Goliath," Boras said. "George [Steinbrenner] built them with the idea of the word best. The Phillies are now Goliaths. The reality of it is, they have the ability to do what they need to do to retain their players. It's merely a matter of choice. ... Somebody asked me if they can have a $200 million payroll. Of course they could. It would be good business to do so."

The message: "Hey, Phillies fans, if your team doesn't pay Jayson Werth, it won't be because I made preposterous demands, it will be because the Phillies chose not to when they totally could." So much for the new rules about not using the media in negotiations.

At this point, it's not looking good for Werth's return to Philly. With Domonic Brown ready to play, and earning around the minimum, it really doesn't make much sense for the Phillies.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 28, 2010 1:40 pm

How will Phillies address right-field vacancy?

Brown As the Phillies lick their wounds on failing to win three straight NL pennants, the big question around town is the future of right field.

Could Jayson Werth somehow return? Is Domonic Brown (pictured) ready for prime time? Where the heck is right-handed power going to come from?

"The problem is, length-wise of a contract, and also what direction we want to go in," manager Charlie Manuel said on 610-WIP on Wednesday, via the Philadelphia Daily News . "From my point of view, to me, right now, I look at our core players, I'm a hitting guy, and I think we can develop a hitter before we can get a top notch pitcher or a top bullpen piece."

The Phillies do have top prospect Domonic Brown who could step into Werth's shoes and seems destined to develop into a star. However, that takes an already lefty-heavy Phillies lineup and tips it even more.

The solution may be to find a platoon partner so Philly can focus on adding to the rotation or bullpen, as it seems Manuel wants to do. The club could start Ross Gload or Brown on the strong side of the platoon and import someone to bat against left-handers. If Brown proves he is able to handle lefties with aplomb, the club would also have the ability to switch the platoon over to left field and Raul Ibanez.

One thing Manuel is interested in is changing up the composition of the roster, citing Brown as one person who might be able to do that.

"We need a blend, a balance, a different look. We need to get back to what I call energy," Manuel noted. "We've got established big league players and they are good big league players, outstanding. Some of them are great. And they have their own way of playing. It's not like they don't hustle and things like that, but we could use a little different mixture."

If the solution is to platoon, who could Philadelphia go after?

The first person that springs to mind is Jeff Francouer, who can hit lefties but can't hit righties whatsoever. He also has a cannon for an arm and could impact games on defense. However, Francouer still considers himself a full-time player and there will likely be a misguided front office that allows him to be just that. (Paging Kansas City.)

The Braves have a mess in the outfield, and Matt Diaz could be non-tendered as part of a rehaul. If so, Diaz could be a perfect complement as his numbers against lefties in his career are excellent. The only negative is he is essentially limited to just left field, which wouldn't work in a right-field platoon.

Jose Guillen is an option should the Phillies find themselves desperate. The drawback? His attitude is questionable and his offense and defense are deterioriating with every given day.

How about internally? Ben Francisco has been a Phillie for roughly a year and a half and boasts a career line of .267/.347/.460 against lefties, which is not all that far off from Frenchy's career .299/.343/.481 mark. The Phillies wouldn't have to shoehorn Francouer into a platoon role or pay him to do that when Francisco could be much less of a headache.

Or how about Andruw Jones?

Jones seems to be a part-time player these days and hasn't amassed more than 281 at-bats in three years. As a part-time outfielder and DH for the White Sox, he banged 18 home runs before stumbling in the middle of the season and recovering. His career line against left-handers is .261/.361/.501 -- and that's not tied up in his previous value as a perennial All-Star. Jones hit .256/.373/.501 for the ChiSox against left-handers.

What helps is that Jones could be pressed into starting duty and not completely embarrass himself in right field should Philadelphia ask him to play more. If Jones doesn't care much for the offers on the free-agent market this year, headed to a team where he would be guaranteed to face lefties and see a healthy amount of time as a backup against righties could be enough for him to pull the trigger and perhaps amass more than 281 at-bats.

The Phillies have some work ahead of themselves to address the impending vacancy in right field, and going to a platoon situation might be the best way to handle the situation in 2010. It gives Brown some time to develop, assuming he wins the strong-side platoon job, and also imports someone to protect against Raul Ibanez looking hapless against lefties. That frees up Philly to commit its dollars to pitching and hopefully some relievers who understand the name of the game is to get outs.

  -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 1:49 pm

Amaro sounds sour on Werth

Jayson Werth
"Sure, we'd like to have Jayson Werth back, even though he's not really very good."

That's essentially the message Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. sent at his season-wrapping news conference Monday, saying the team can afford to re-sign the outfielder but hinting that they're fine with walking away of the price gets too high. Amaro said he expects to make contact with Werth's agent, Scott Boras (cue "villain entrance theme"), in the next 48 hours.

"What is going to drive the bus is Jayson and Scott,” Amaro said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "Typically these things don’t move particularly quickly.

"Jayson had a good year. It wasn’t an extraordinary year. He had a tough time with men in scoring position. It wasn’t as productive a year as he had in the past. If he is not with us, there are players that we can acquire and or we have in our own organization that can help us be as consistent."

Sounds like Amaro is running down Werth's performance in an attempt to drive down his market value and/or soften the blow for fans because he doesn't think the deal is going  to get done. You can be sure Boras will arrive at the negotiating table with one of his usual binders with lots of graphs and charts showing that Werth, 31, not only had an "extraordinary year," he's the greatest outfielder of his generation and spends his free time petting homeless puppies at the animal shelter.

Amaro is right about one thing: Werth did, in fact, have a tough time with men in scoring position this season. He batted .186 with RISP, 74 points lower than his career average in the situation and 110 points below his overall batting average this season.

But despite that, you can't exactly say he wasn't productive. He led the National League in doubles and had full-season career highs in OPS (.921) OPS+ (145) and hits (164). He batted .296/.388/.532 with 27 homers and 85 RBI.

Make no mistake, Werth is going to cash in this winter. It just might not be the Phillies writing the check.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 19, 2010 9:23 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 5:33 pm

Werth signs with Boras

Jayson Werth Does this look like a man who sold his soul?

Or just one who will soon have enough to buy it back, plus a couple of extras.

Whichever, Jayson Werth will be a rich(er) man soon enough. Not only is he a free agent after this season, he also hired Scott Boras, the agent told CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury .

Werth, fresh off his walk-off homer in Sunday's 7-6 victory over the Nationals, is now hitting .292/.381/.521 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI. The 31-year old Werth signed a two-year deal worth $10 million ($2 million in 2009, $7 million this year and another $1 million signing bonus) before the 2009 season to avoid arbitration.

That contract was negotiated by his previous agent, Jeff Borris.

The Phillies have said they'd like to re-sign the outfielder, but there have been few negotiations. Boras told Salisbury that he hopes to have discussions with the Phillies shortly after the season ends.

Expect any team with a need for an outfielder and money to have interest. The Phillies may fall into both categories, along with the usual big-money players such as the Yankees and Red Sox. In the end, Werth will have enough money to coat that glorious beard in gold, and isn't that what really matters?

UPDATE: Boras is now talking and showing how he's going to position his new client -- as a center fielder.

"Werth is a totally different type of player. He’s an athlete who can play center field, run, steal bases, be a Gold Glove type outfielder," Boras told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal . "A lot of teams out there need center-field production."

The Philadelphia Inquirer 's Matt Gelb tweets Boras told him, "the Phillies are a very viable alternative."

UPDATE: Werth talked about the move before Monday's game with the Braves.

"Being in the situation that I’m in, having never gone into free agency, over the past few months, I just thought it was time to make the switch," Werth told reporters, including David Hale of the News Journal . "I went with Boras Corporation, I think it’s the best place for me right now. I don’t think it has anything to do with anything other than wanting the best representation going into free agency.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 10:50 am

Power will be priority for A's

Coco Crisp
How many times have we heard that a team is "a bat or two away" from contending? The A's think they really are, and finding players with power will be their top priority this winter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The A's have by far the best ERA in the American League (3.55) and are a little below average in batting for average and getting on base (ninth in both). Where they fall clearly short is power. No team in baseball has hit fewer home runs, and they are second-worst in slugging percentage. Their top home run hitter, Kevin Kouzmanoff, has just 14. Their starters at first base, third base and designated hitter have combined for 32. No matter how well they pitch, that's not going to cut it.

"The game is changing. There aren't guys who can hit 50 homers, but you still have to have two guys in the lineup who are threats to hit the ball out of the ballpark," second baseman Mark Ellis said. "That would make everyone else better, too. But they're not easy to find."

General manager Billy Beane says he'll be looking, and Beane will have a little money to work with as $22 million comes off the books with Ben Sheets and Eric Chavez.

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Carlos Pena, Jayson Werth and possibly David Ortiz (who has a club option) will be among the power hitters available this winter.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com