When free agency begins, many Phillies fans will be interested in what happens to outfielder Jayson Werth. Werth has been a key bat in the Phillies' lineup and a very good defensive outfielder for years now. He is in his contract year.
Many teams will be interested in Werth, and for good reason. In his career in Philadelphia, Jayson has hit .283, with 83 homers, and 271 RBI. While those stats look great on paper, there is more than meets the eye.
Since coming to Philly, he has hit behind some of the best hitters in the game. He has been featured in the same lineup as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. The three of them have combined for 11 all star appearances, six silver sluggers, and two MVPs. He is in pretty good company.
Werth has never been "The Guy." He simply has never had to be. He has had the luxury of playing with Hall of Fame-caliber players. He has been a very, very good player, but he's never had to carry a team on his back. That should be a cause for concern for certain teams.
The worst situation would be this: a non-contender signs Werth to a huge contract, expecting him to be their superstar. He won't be able to do that. Jayson needs other players around him for him to play the best baseball he can.
The Phillies are in a pretty tough situation with him. He is a very important player to them, but he won't be worth the money he will demand. And the Fightins do have Domonic Brown, who they plan to have patrolling right field for years to come. Brown has looked pretty good in his first few games. It just doesn't seem very likely that Jayson will be with the Phillies in 2011.
Jayson's free agent experience will end in one of two ways, either a key asset to a contender, or a disaster to a bad team. It would be in his best interest to stay with the Phils, but chances are he will go for the money and leave Philadelphia.