Saturday, December 11, 2010

Details Surrounding the Jayson Werth Contract

The gruesome details regarding the Nationals deal with Jayson Werth have come to light.  Not surprisingly, it's heavily backloaded.  According to the report, Werth will earn salaries of $10M in 2011, $13M in 2012, $16M in 2013, $20M in 2014, and $21M in 2015, 2016, and 2017.  He'll also get a $4M signing bonus which will be paid out sometime between January 2011 and January 2012. 

This is a pretty great deal for the Nationals over the first three seasons, but that's about it.  It gets pretty ugly after that--$83M for his age-35-38 seasons.  Ouch!  What are the odds this one ends poorly?

The escalation in Werth's salary coincides with the end of Ryan Zimmerman's contract.  If Zimmerman decides he'd rather test the market than sign an extension, the Nationals could be at risk of losing their franchise player.  Zimmerman will be 29 after the 2013 season, and will likely still be at the height of his powers.  There are a lot of teams that would be very interested in a third baseman who hits for power and plays Fielding Bible Award quality defense.  With the way the market has played out over the past few weeks, Zimmerman could get a massive contract.  The Nationals, on the other hand, will be left with a $20M outfielder that's past his prime.  Good trade off...

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