Sep 212010
Phillies RF Jayson Werth

Phillies RF Jayson Werth

September 21 Philadelphia Daily News:

Scott Boras is renowned for his preparation. But you don’t need to look at one of the super agent’s infamous statistical binders to know Jayson Werth is in line for a dramatic raise once he reaches free agency in November.

You also don’t need to be Ruben Amaro Jr. to know the Phillies have at least $135 million committed to 16 players next season after entering 2010 with a payroll of about $137 million.

Whether Boras and Amaro can make the financials work remains to be seen. Werth, who parted ways with agent Jeff Borris earlier this summer, confirmed yesterday he has hired Boras to represent him. But he didn’t have much to say about any future, or lack thereof, with the Phillies.

“I’m worried about the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies and winning this division and winning the World Series,” said Werth, whose walkoff, two-run homer against the Nationals Sunday afternoon sent the Phillies into last night’s game against the Braves with a seven-game winning streak and a three-game lead in the National League East. “That’s as far as it goes.”

It’s easy to see why Werth selected Boras. In January, the agent reached agreement on a 7-year, $120 million contract for Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday. Werth’s numbers aren’t on par with those of Holliday, who hit .325 with a .403 on-base percentage and .958 on-base plus slugging percentage in the 3 years leading up to his free agency. But they do compare favorably with outfielder Jason Bay, who signed a 4-year, $66 million contract with the Mets last offseason.

Comparing Bay’s three seasons before free agency with Werth’s previous two-plus seasons, Werth has a higher batting average (.278 to .267), on-base percentage (.373 to .362) and slugging percentage (.509 to .493). Heading into last night, Werth had hit nearly as many home runs (86 to 88), in 133 fewer at-bats than Bay did over those same respective periods.

Werth, who turned 31 in May, is 1 year, 4 months younger than Bay, who turned 32 yesterday. Werth is the only major leaguer since 2008 to hit at least 80 home runs and steal at least 50 bases. He is one of 10 players who have hit at least 20 home runs with an on-base percentage of at least .360 in each of the last three seasons.

Fans might think Werth’s hiring of Boras will make it harder for the Phillies to re-sign their rightfielder, who is hitting .292 with 24 home runs, .902 OPS and 76 RBI. But Boras represents righthander Ryan Madson, who signed a 3-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies in January 2009.

“I can’t really comment on what other people feel,” Werth said. “I know for me it’s just a matter of being comfortable with representation and having the guy that I want to have representing me in this process.””

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