Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Was He Werth Seven Years?
In 2011, the Washington Nationals signed Jayson Werth to a 7 year, so-and-so million dollar contract. This had made people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move.
At the time, people criticized the Nationals for taking out such a stake on someone who seemed, at the time, like a fluke come-up, a guy that had toiled in the minors for a decade before FINALLY making it big with the Phillies in 2008. After another great season in 2010, the sportswriters claimed that he was done being productive, and asking for 7 years of similar production from Jayson Werth was asking too much. He ended up in a few 'worst deals of the offseason' lists, and various other hoopla happened.
It's 2017, and the 7 years are almost up. Jayson Werth is now 38 years old, and he's off to a great start, batting .287 with a 1.0 WAR. Is this the best season he's had since landing in Washington? Actually, no. That might be his 2013 season, where he hit 25 home runs, and hit for average, in addition to keeping the Nationals afloat as they tanked the season so that Atlanta could win the division. Werth was also a big part of the Nats' eventual playoff push in 2014.
I'm gonna pull out a crazy stat here- Vladimir Guerrero is heading to the Hall of Fame next year. While he was with the Expos, in the prime of his career, he led his Expos to the playoffs...ZERO TIMES. Jayson Werth helped the Nationals reach their first playoffs as a Washington franchise in 2012, and helped them reach the NLDS twice more in 2014 and 2016. You'll note that they lost those LDS' every year, but without Jayson Werth they might not have gotten there in the first place.
Look, Werth hasn't been the hugest part of these Nationals teams, but he was a founding member of the Nats teams that have led to this current era of absolute dominance. He's gonna be thought of as fondly as people think of someone like Ben Oglivie in the 80's Brewers teams, or Kent Hrbek in those 80's-90's Twins teams. He was an integral piece, and people won't forget about him, no matter how his 2017 season finishes up.
Coming Tonight: Astonishingly powerful pitcher for the Tigers. No, not that one, the other one.