In the digital age, rumors fly much quicker than they used to. It literally takes only seconds to post a rumor online and create a huge buzz over basically nothing. The same applies to Phillies free-agent right fielder, Jayson Werth.
Early this morning, a talk-show radio host mentioned that the Phillies had offered Werth a contract and that it was good enough for him to possibly sign. Should you give credence to this rumor? The simple answer is “No.”
Black Friday came and went and no “sale” on outfielders was ever advertised. Tomorrow is Cyber Monday; for those awaiting a holiday miracle and second-chance sale on Werth, put it out of your mind. It is not going to happen. The odds of Werth returning to Philly are about the same as the possibility of a meteor landing on your house; for the record, those adds are about 182,138,880,000,000 to 1.
Did you know there is even a web site page on eHow.com dedicated to helping people determine if rumors are true? One of the suggestions says, “Send at text to (CHA CHA) 242 242 with any rumor questions and they might be able to answer your question in just a few minutes.” Is this not the basic equivalent to shaking a Magic 8-ball?
So if you prefer logic to magic text messages, just look at the facts. The Phillies already have $143 million dollars committed to 2011 salaries. Werth is going to aim for an average of $15 million a year. Nearing the $160 million dollar mark does not leave room for improvements elsewhere, like in the bullpen. Plus, while Domonic Brown may not be ready to take over full-time in right field, he is close enough. The Phillies can find help elsewhere for the one year or so until Brown is ready.
Now think about some of the moves GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already made. If Amaro was not willing to pay to keep Cliff Lee, $15 million a year for Werth seems even more like a huge, unsustainable amount. The Phillies are also not afraid to platoon players to fill the spot, as evidenced by previous pairings like Werth and Geoff Jenkins. While this will not improve the position at all, it is possible that the Phillies will settle for a platoon of Ben Francisco and Brown if all else fails.
Players will wait to get the best offer. Remember after the 2007 season when the Phillies gave a solid 3-4 offer to Aaron Rowand to return? The Giants came in with a 5-year deal and Rowand walked. It will be the same with Werth; even if the Phillies offer a very good deal, odds are that another team will outbid them.
And if all that has not quelled your suspicions that this weekend’s rumor might be true, take it from Werth himself. CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Werth said via text message about being close to signing, “Not at all. It’s very early. I will make an informed decision in due time.” So you can choose to believe the magic CHA CHA eHow text message or the verified text message sent to Salisbury. Magic or logic; you decide.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography