There are essentially two schools of thought on the Washington Nationals' signing of Jayson Werth. he first school absolutely hates the deal and points to Werth's age, health history, and small number of productive seasons. The other school sees the signing as a must in order for the Nats to establish themselves as offseason contenders.
At the time, I found myself somewhere in the middle. I understood the Nationals' thinking, but I didn't necessarily agree with it.
But I really did not know much about Werth at that point. Sure, I knew he was a good player, both offensively and defensively, but I knew very little about him as a competitor. To me, he always seemed a little too JD Drewish; I never saw any sign of intensity.
After reading articles about Werth and seeing interviews with the $126-million man, I have realized how wrong my perception was.
You can see it in his eyes. Werth has read all of those columns bashing the signing, he has heard all the naysayers who say he prefers money over winning, and he is chomping at the bit to prove everybody wrong.
Best of all, Werth, like all Nationals fans, hates the Phillies.
Isn't that what sports fans want? A guy who cares a much as we do. You can't say that Werth does not care; he wants to beat the Phillies just as badly as the fans do.
You can't overpay for a guy like that—a guy who combines talent with a competitive fire.
You don't have to worry about giving a guy like Werth that much money. He is going to bring it, no matter how many zeros are on his paycheck.
And doesn't the fact that the Nationals took the guy from the best team in our division add even more value to Werth? You're not only adding to your team's talent, but subtracting talent from a team you play 18 times a year. No one seems to be mentioning that.
But people are mentioning that Werth has never tallied more than 100 RBI in a season or hit more than 30 home runs. Doesn't that go against everything we have seen since the post-steroid era? Werth is good in the field and possesses one of the better arms in all of baseball. He is a disciplined hitter who sees a lot of pitches. He gets on base, and he scores a lot of runs (204 over the last two seasons).
He brings so much to the table, and takes nothing off of it. He may not be the prototypical five-tool player, but he certainly has all five tools in the bag.
And, the best part is, at the end of the day, it's not my money.