Jayson Werth will hit the open market next winter as one of the premier free agent outfielders. All we know right now is that he'll be asking for a pretty hefty raise from the Philadelphia Phillies, or he'll pack his bags for someone who's willing to give him the top dollar.
There is a very comparable situation happening right now in the baseball universe as Jason Bay has allowed his agent to price himself out of a good situation in Boston and into a situation that will not be very promising in terms of competing for a World Series.
With the Red Sox, Bay had a chance to win a championship every year as the Sox are one of the powerhouses in Major League Baseball. Like their division rival New York Yankees, they're in contention every year; winning is key for these organizations.
Now, a return to Boston will not happen since they opted to sign Mike Cameron to replace Bay as its everyday left fielder. Therefore, Bay will be playing somewhere else next season.
As it appears right now, the New York Mets are the only team interested in signing him.
According to reports, the Mets are offering him four years worth $64 million to patrol the left side of the outfield at Citi Field for the next few seasons.
For Bay, leaving Boston to head to New York's second team, will not be a great baseball decision.
Considering he played the better part of his first five years in the pros with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he'll head to a team that has a lot of turmoil and doesn't have a bright future.
Of course, you can't blame Bay for pricing himself out of Boston as his agent, Joe Urbon, has handled the negotiations.
Urbon believes Bay is worth more than he really is and is trying to get his client the best possible deal he can. I can respect that, it's his job.
What I don't understand is why Bay rejected the Sox' last offer, which is believed to be for four years in the $60-million range. The Mets are believed to have offered him $64 million over four years, which would be a few more than Boston.
In hind sight, I'm sure Bay wishes he had accept the Sox' offer because a few more million to play for a non-playoff team instead of playing for a World Series competitor, is nonsense.
The problem with Bay is, he's asking for five or six years and no team is willing to go that far. It'll be a game of chicken until either Bay or a team budges on their stance.
With some background information about the Bay situation out of the way, let's get back to Werth.
In all likelihood, he'll be using what Bay will get as a starting point in negotiations next winter. By doing this, he could find himself in the same shoes Bay's wearing right now.
Werth and Bay are very similar players. In fact, they had almost identical stats last year. Werth batted .268/.373/.506 while Bay hit .267/.384/.537. For Boston, Bay had 119 RBI compared to Werth's 99 RBI with the Phillies. They each had 36 home runs.
Both don't ground into many double plays, they hit a fair amount of doubles, and they post similar strikeout and walk numbers.
Since the two are the same player in different uniforms, they'll be getting similar contracts.
Werth will ask for what Bay gets at the very least.
The only difference is Werth could have a better year in 2010, which would get him more.
My advice to Werth is: Learn from Bay, don't let your agent blow your chance at winning titles. At the end of the day, you'll appreciate the rings on your finger rather than the millions more you could get playing for an average squad.
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