Valuing the 2011 free agent class: Jayson Werth

Victor Martinez

Cliff Lee

Moving the series along, today’s post will focus on Jayson Werth. Werth is coming off his best offensive season where he hit .296/.388/.532/.397/150 over 652 PA. He will no doubt sign a long term deal, but outside that there haven’t been many rumors concerning other details of a possible contract.

His agent Scott Boras likened him to Matt Holliday more than Jason Bay. Bay signed a 4/66mil deal while Holliday signed a 7/120mil deal. Holliday was younger than Werth when he signed his mega deal and had put up better seasons, according to WAR, than Werth in the years leading up to free agency. So I would put Werth somewhere between Holliday and Bay and say he will probably sign for five years wherever he lands.

While Werth had a career year at the dish last season, his defense slipped into the negatives. One year of defensive data is not a lot, but it’s been two years since he was an elite defender according to UZR, so his age might be showing up defensively and he will be an average to below average fielder going forward.

Projecting him over the next six seasons, I will start him at 4.7 WAR and move him down by 0.5 WAR each season. I will start at each WAR being worth $4.5mil and that will increase by $.5mil each season.

If you think he’ll sign a five year deal, he’ll be worth a total of $99.25mil. If you think he’ll sign a four year deal he’ll be worth about $81.7mil. Considering Bay signed for 4/66mil and Werth is better, that sounds about right.

Do the Phillies have the money to sign Werth at 5/82mil? I think they do. However, if they can’t move Ibanez it might not be the smartest move since they already have $143mil in payroll commitment for 2011.

Look for the Angels or Red Sox to sign him. San Francisco remains a long shot, but they could use a right fielder.

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2 Comments on “Valuing the 2011 free agent class: Jayson Werth”

  1. […] out of nowhere. I really thought Werth would be headed to Detroit, Boston, or stay in Philly. If you recall, I had Werth worth about $99mil over five years. When I project it out further, I think he’ll […]

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