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Making a (very costly) statement

Dec 6, 2010, 2:59 AM EDT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — It’s a rare day indeed when the Washington Nationals make a move that shakes up the entire baseball world.

This is a franchise that for the better part of six years has existed on the periphery of the major leagues, content to build its franchise through draft picks and second-tier acquisitions, leaving the headlines to its counterparts in New York and Boston and Chicago and Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

So when word came down this afternoon that the Nationals (yes, the Nationals) had signed Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million (yes, seven years and $126 million) contract, the sound echoing through the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort where the winter meetings are about to convene was the jaw of every member of the baseball world dropping to the floor in unison.

So much for the Nationals staying on the periphery while everyone else makes news.

Read my full analysis of the Werth signing on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Wonderful and unexpected news, welcome given the continuing soap opera of futility that is the Washington Redskins.

  2. Michael J. Hayde - Dec 6, 2010 at 3:27 AM

    Can't wait to read how Tom ("Damn Yankees STEAL championships!") Boswell spins this deal, especially if – as Werth is expecting – other high-profile (and high-priced) "pieces" are added.

  3. Wally - Dec 6, 2010 at 3:33 AM

    Hey, with our Boras connection, maybe we trade for Prince next. Not exactly a svelte athlete, but he is a lefty Boras guy.

  4. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Everyone, just calm down for a minute here.All those who say this deal is too long and too big, you are dumb! On the other hand, Rizzo is not. All those who say the Lerners are cheap (myself included), now you(we) know they are not.If BoSox and Nats both came to you with 5yr/$90mil, which one do you think Werth will pick? Even if Nats offered 5yr/$100mil, Werth would have chosen the BoSox offer. This was the ONLY WAY to get a player of Werth's caliber. THE ONLY WAY!!!Werth is one of the preimere outfielders in the entire league with great defense and offense. Even if the Nats can get 5 good years out of the 7 years, I'd say this is a good deal.Let's keep this up, Mr. Rizzo. Good job!

  5. David - Dec 6, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    Mark,As always you see the real story here. Whether Werth is worth $126 million over seven years is not as important as this non financially prudent move that Rizzo has talked the Lerner's into. (Baseball and finances don't go together well). My best guess is Ted Lerner asked what will it take to turn this team around and Rizzo and Boras gave him a baseball education. Hopefully this will help change how this team is perceived and run. I am optimistic now something I don't think I've been with this team in a long time.Please Jason have 3 or 4 good years in you.

  6. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Let me take this opportunity to apologize to the Lerner family. I mean it. I've never bashed them on the blogs, but after losing Dunn, I felt like the Lerners had officially designated Washington as a place that develops great players once in a while, only to lose them to NY, Chicago, LA, Boston. I felt, after the Dunn deal, that it was only a matter of time until Zimm left.The world looks completely different now. This is a GIGANTIC day for baseball in Washington. Werth is a a gigantic presence in baseball, and his peer group is taking notice of this move. I apologize to the Lerners for doubting your commitment. I realize now that you're as committed to winning as as any of us in the pajama brigade, Nats-blogging through the winter.

  7. Anonymous8 - Dec 6, 2010 at 4:17 AM

    I love Dunn as a player but have always known his defiencies. Werth just upgraded the team overall IMO.At this point, I think Michael Morse could be your new 1st baseman and spend your money on Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford or Carl Pavano.

  8. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    It speaks volume how little free agents think of DC as a viable alternative that Boras said the Nats offer was so far above all others he had heard for Werth that he did not even bother contacting other suitors to see if they wanted to match AND that was from the greediest little SOB in the business!!! Ps – I love the idea of Fielder coming here to give us some lefty power to keep the pitchers and opposing managers honest!

  9. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    Lee is also Boras guy right? Are the nats now a contender for Lee?

  10. Will - Dec 6, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Lee is not a Boras guy, so that shouldn't have an bearing on negotiations.Even so, Boras is a smart enough guy to not let other deals he's made with a team lessen his demands. Just look at his history with the Nats: Strasburg- got the highest amateur bonus in history, Harper- got the second highest signing bonus, Teixeira- got the Nats to offer more money than any other team, jacking up the price for all other offers and still took less money, Werth- according to some sources got more years and more money per year than any other offer. Boras has no altruistic motives, and Rizzo's "relationship" with him is nothing more than Boras' relationship with any other GM- to extract the most amount of money possible. Considering that's the case, Boras must consider his relationship with Rizzo to be rather sweet.

  11. Big Cat - Dec 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Just read Werths comments. Sounds impressive. Says all the right things, especially about the Lerners. Sounds like Rizzo has a plan. What is it that Vinny said? "We have a plan, we know what we're doing"

  12. JaneB - Dec 6, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Anonymous at 11:12… You are dead on.So I join you in apologizing to the Lerners for thinking and writing that the Dunn loss was about a refusal to spend money, and that they didn't care about building a for real team. I really do apologize. And now I join in David's prayer for a few great years out of Jayson.

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