Not Werth It

The big outrage in Philly today is that GM Ruben Amaro said in a radio interview that there’s a chance the team could be a better team without Jayson Werth, the righthanded slugger who appears likely to leave the team when he becomes a free agent.
Some are even calling for Amaro to be fired- although among those “some” are people who can’t spell Amaro’s name right in a headline.
But really, what is Amaro supposed to say? “Yes, we’re going to be worse?” That’s going to depend on who they get to replace him, how Werth does with his new team, etc. There are a million variables. GMs who aren’t named David Kahn aren’t generally in the business of admitting they’re about to have a bad year. And Bill Smith didn’t say “we’ll be better without Johan Santana” right before he was traded, but guess what- the Twins ended up being better without Santana.
Sure, the Phils will probably take a step back, short term, without Werth. But the question shouldn’t be “will they be better next year?,” it should be “is it wise to do what it would take to keep Werth?” Giving a five-year deal for huge money, or at least huge enough money to win a bidding war, to a player who’s over 30, when every other regular on the Phils is also over 30, might not be so advisable, especially for a team that really, really needs to get younger.
There’s also the fan fantasy that Werth will take less money or fewer years to stay in Philly, although players who fire their agents and hire Scott Boras, as Werth did a few months ago, aren’t known for doing that sort of thing.

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