We saw on Sunday the headline-crashing news that Jayson Werth has signed a 7-year, $126M contract. Mike Rizzo, GM of the Nationals, seems to have the idea that bringing in one of the big offensive names on the FA market would do a good number in bringing fans into the park. Word on the street is that Washington isn't done, either.
Carlos Pena has been linked to Washington as the potential replacement at 1B. Pena would be a really interesting fit for Washington, as he profiles really similarly to Adam Dunn. Pena hits for low average, walks a lot, strikes out a lot, and he hits for solid power. Kind of a poor man's Dunn, his 162-game average shows the following line: .241/.351/.490, 35HR, as compared to Adam Dunn's .250/.381/.521, 40HR.
Anyhow, that's Pena. Good stuff there.
So what does the Jayson Werth signing mean for everyone?
More past the jump
1. Carl Crawford just became an even richer man. Frankly, I don't see the attraction. Well, I do, but I don't. Crawford is really really fast, and really really good at stealing bases, and really really good at playing LF. But his average season is a sub-.800 OPS, sub-.340 OBP, but hey, 50+ freaking bases, right? RIGHT?! I mean, come on, that's like Michael Bourn without the home runs. Except Michael Bourn plays CF. I understand that speed kills, but how is Carl Crawford going to be worth $130M and Angel Pagan is probably going to go year-to-year and then have to take a 1-year flyer somewhere? How come Ichiro is going to only make - oh...wait, scratch Ichiro, never mind. The value of the stolen base is mindboggling.
2. The Nationals are going to have some interesting outfield decisions in the next 3 years. Right now, there's Nyjer Morgan in CF, there's Mike Morse in RF, and there's Josh Willingham in LF. Morgan just came off of a godawful season, so the Nats could be looking to upgrade there. Morse was acquired in trade with Seattle for Ryan Langerhans, and Morse broke out to the tune of an .870 OPS. MLB aside, the Nationals have Michael Burgess on the way up who just had a pretty promising 2010 between A+ Potomac and AA Harrisburg and Bryce Harper, while drafted as a catcher, is likely moving to the outfield, and might be taking the Justin Upton Fast Track to the MajorsTM.
3. This could set an interesting precedent for the 2011-2012 free agents, namely Jose Bautista, Nick Swisher, and possibly Josh Willingham. This is assuming that they have repeat big seasons, but it's good food for thought.
4. Finally, the 2011 implications pretty much means that Josh Willingham is expendable. Hell, everyone is expendable. Willingham just seems to make the most sense to move. Morse is likely cheaper, the Nats may want to hang on to Nyjer Morgan for his outstanding leadership abilities (actually it's probably because he can play CF), and it's a little early to think about moving Jayson Werth. Also, Willingham has only 1 year before free agency, so Washington will probably want to sell him off as a rental. We all know Colorado is linked to Willingham, and that he makes sense for Colorado, etc. I don't know if it'll be as simple as that, as a lot of teams desperate for a starting caliber outfielder might be looking for Willingham to make up for the Carl Crawford they didn't get. Still, MLBTradeRumors is suggesting that Willingham is likely to be moved.
Anyhow, Colorado: Go trade for Willingham! Do it! Do it now!