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So why did Jayson Werth switch agents anyway?

Sep 21, 2010, 3:05 PM EDT

If your answer is “because he wants top dollar in free agency and Scott Boras is the man to get it for him,” you may be wrong.

In a story I didn’t see because Newsday is behind a really expensive paywall, Ken Davidoff reported that one of Werth’s goals is to pay his agent a smaller cut of his next contract, working instead on a fee, rather than a commission basis. We all think that Boras is out for every buck, but if that’s what Werth wanted, one can assume it’s what Boras gave to him.

And if Boras is working on a fee basis, could it not also mean that “top dollar at any cost” are not his marching orders?  I have a hard time seeing Werth sign a big deal with Philly due to the number of large contracts they have already, but it is possible, is it not, that Boras on something other than a commission might try to find a creative means of keeping Werth in town?

  1. BigPhil - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    I’d rather the Phillies not sign Werth and instead put the money into the bullpen, or other areas of need (for instance, upgrade in back-up for middle infield). These are obviously high-class problems, but the concept of opportunity cost still holds. With that being said, the Phillies probably won’t put the savings back into the team since raises by the core group will eat it up anyway.

  2. matt - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    There’s no way the Phillies can keep him. Houston had to eat at least half of Oswalts contract for this year and next. They aren’t the Yankees. I believe they have $140 million locked up for about 16 palyers next season, something like that. You can’t blame them. Amaro has been on record as saying that you cant pay everyone $15 million a year. Rollins will be coming up, Hamels isnt too far down the road. They have to let Dom Brown take that spot with his rookie pay wage. Plus, is Werth really worth 16 or 17 mill a year? I don’t think so. Nice player with 2 full seasons now under his belt at age 31. Less than 100 rbi’s in both and an abysmal RISP number. Then you have that rediculous Howard extension coming into play too soon. There’s no way. He’ll be in Yankee pinstripes or with the Sox next year. Book it Danno.

  3. The Common Man - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    But doesn’t having Jayson Werth as a client this offseason raise Boras’ profile with other players? Seems like he might be willing to take a smaller fee for one player if it gets him some advertising. Even better if the player comes away satisfied that he got everything he wanted in terms of money, city, and situation, as it demonstrates that Boras is capable getting his clients whatever it is they want most.

  4. Dasher521 - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Boras never takes a smaller fee to get additional advertising. He doens’t need it. Domonic Brown needs more time in AAA to polish all of his considerable five tools. The Phillies are already heavy with left handed hitters. Ibanez, at $10 million per year, will finish out his contract in 2011. Until then, can you say Ben Francisco. Maybe playing full time in the Phillies line up will elevate his offensive numbers the way it did for Jason Werth. My thoughts on Werth are that he isn’t as good as he was in 2009 and he isn’t as bad (in key siturations) as he has sometimes been in 2010. Just like Aaron Rowand was nice player for the Phillies, Rowand wasn’t worth the money or length of contract that he was looking for. The same applies to Werth. May he have the same “swan song” that Pat Burrell had in 2008 and ride in the front of the World Series parade down Broad Street this year. And, we will thank him very much!

  5. Jonny5 - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    If he stays in Philly i will eat my socks.

  6. Ryan - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Everyone is way too focused on 2011 when it comes to Werth. If the Phillies really want to retain Werth (which I’m not so sure they even want to do), it will be very easy to backload his contract and pay him less up front and perhaps more on the backend. After 2011, a bunch of contracts come off the books for the Phillies, including Rollins, Ibanez, Oswalt, Lidge, and Hamels. Of those 5, I only expect Hamels to be retained, and Domonic Brown will be a very cheap replacement for Ibanez.
    I have no doubt that Brown will be capable of matching (or exceeding) Werth’s numbers in a couple of years, but the Phillies need Werth’s RH bat in the lineup. Furthermore, f they don’t re-sign him, then they’ll be looking for an extremely similar RH player after 2011 to replace Ibanez in 2012. Why not just re-sign Werth right away and then replace Ibanez with Brown in 2012?

  7. Bull Durham - Sep 21, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    I think this is a very reasonable analysis of the situation but the answer to your question is this: While the Phils will be looking for an extremely similar RH hitter after 2011 to replace Ibanez, they will be looking for one that costs closer to the $12.5 million over 4 years that they paid Werth since 2007 than the amount that Werth will more likely command over the next 4 to 5 years ($80 million?).

  8. quint - Sep 21, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    I have a hard time believing Boras would go for a fee. He doesn’t have to, he is one of the better agents in the game, why would you agree to that.
    I bet Werth shopped for an agent who would take a fee, couldn’t find one, so went with the Agent who will maximise his earnings.

  9. Glenn - Sep 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    I think you nailed it.

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