Don't let your eyes fool you. This bum look-alike will actually be worth more this off-season than you or anyone else who reads this will make in the rest of your lifetimes. Philadelphia rightfielder Jayson Werth will command top dollar as a free agent after this season. Outside of Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford, there are no other total package outfielders available.
Werth is so valuable the Phillies are viewing him as a possible way to upgrade their team via a trade. Top prospect and heir-apparent Dominic Brown is starting to tear it up in Triple A.
Naturally, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has wondered, "What is Werth worth on the trading market?"
The Phillies want to upgrade their pitching for the stretch run. Philly is six games back of Atlanta in the NL East and trail the Mets by three for the Wild Card. While they were hit hard by injuries, the Phillies are still in it. If they make the right moves, defending their NL crown isn't a stretch at all.
But what is Werth worth?
Werth is only a three month rental at best. Unless your name is Cliff Lee, teams are very wary about giving up a huge bounty for a rental. And Werth has competition. Washington's Adam Dunn, also a potential rental trade candidate, is fresh off of a three-homer game and is a perennial 40 HR, 100 RBI masher.
Who is worth more?
It probably depends on what you need. Werth can do just about everything. He can hit for power. He can hit for a decent average. He can play above-average defense in right field. He can steal you a base or two.
But is he a true middle-of-the-order threat?
Dunn can't do many of those things. But what he can do, he does very well. Dunn represents a game-changer every time he steps to the plate. While Werth will make contributions all over the place, Dunn can swing the balance of a game with one swing.
Werth is no slouch when it comes to power production. Last year he clubbed 34 HR. This year his power is back down into the mid 20's, on pace for a 26 HR season. But how much does the feared Phillies offense protect him when they are healthy? It's easier to see great pitches when you have Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins on your team.
Can Werth be a difference-maker with his bat on a less stellar offensive team?
Werth does have one thing going for him that Dunn does not—a proven post-season track record. He had a .309 post-season batting average in 2008 and seven home runs in the 2009 post-season. Werth seems to shine the brightest in front of the game's brightest lights. Werth is October tested and October proven.
Dunn has never made it to the post-season.
Dunn does one thing well. He hits home runs. What happens if he doesn't hit those home runs? Is the threat of him hitting one out good enough? Does it provide enough lineup protection to the team that acquired him to be a middle-of-the-order hitter?
So what is Werth worth? Would Dunn or Werth fetch more in a trade? What do you think? Does Werth's all-around game best Dunns all-or-nothing, feast-or-famine bashing?
For me, my money is on the one who has shown his "Werth" in October.