The Nationals made their biggest splash ever in free-agency this week, signing outfielder Jayson Werth away from their division rival Philadelphia Phillies. The contract, which tied the highest annual amount ever given to an outfielder, has completely changed the landscape of Washington Nationals baseball forever. Fans hope this means that their wealthy owner, Ted Lerner, has decided to open his pockets and let the money flow in order to bring in the fans. If this is the case, a lot more cash will have to drop in the next two years for the club to push for a World Series Championship.
Around baseball though, the buzz over the Jayson Werth deal isn’t so positive. General Managers are upset at Nats GM Mike Rizzo for overvaluing a 31-year-old outfielder, which in turn could completely shift the way veterans are approached about contracts this winter. Fans and analysts are shocked that they would throw that kind of money at a player who is very good but by and large not considered great. Opinions about big news story fly back and forth from both ends, we decided to take a step back and simply look at the most black-and-white thing possible, the numbers.
32 – The age Werth will be two months into the 2011 MLB Season.
5- The number of organizations Werth has played for.
6 – The number of direct family members who have played either professional or Division 1 college sports.
162 – Games lost to injury in 2006 due to a wrist problem.
120 – Career home runs, the lowest number a position player had ever had before signing a $100 million dollar deal (Crawford quickly stole this title)
148 – Career strikeouts John Bale had, the player the Baltimore Orioles traded Werth for before his MLB debut.
$10,000,000 – The amount Werth made in 2009-2010 combined with the Philadelphia Phillies
$13,490,000 – Werth’s career earnings in eight MLB seasons. He will make $7.5 million more next year alone.
$20,000,000 – The amount FanGraphs projected Werth’s value as in 2010.
1 – Form of black ink Werth has on his stat card – he led the MLB in doubles in 2010.
0 – The amount of Silver Sluggers Werth has earned
1 – The number of top 10 MVP finishes he has had
2 – The number of top 20 MVP finishes he has had
1 – All-time All-Star appearances
1 – Time he has led the NL in outfield assists
.543 – Werth’s career high slugging percentage which he earned last season.
.388 – Werth’s career high on base percentage…which he earned last season.
17.8 – The highest UZR Werth has ever finished a season with, which he earned in 2008
-6.9 - The lowest UZR Werth has ever finished with, which he earned last year.
450 – The amount of times Werth has struck out in the past three seasons
349 – The amount of times Joe Dimaggio struck out in his career
45.4 % – The highest percent of line drives Werth has ever hit in a season, which he did in 2010.
21.3 – The runs above average rating that FanGraphs rates Werth’s ability to hit fastballs in 2010. (Zimmerman was at 15.9 last year).
28 – The number of outfield assists he has had in the past three seasons
2 – The number of players who have hit at least 80 homers and stolen 50 bases since 2008, Werth and Utley.
42% – The number of runners who scored from second when a ball was hit to Werth in 2010, 58% is the league average.
.186 – Werth’s batting average with runners in scoring position in 2010
5 - The number of players who have signed a seven-year deal after the age of 31 (Of those, only Alex Rodriguez is a likely hall of fame candidate)
1 - The amount of players in Nationals/Expos history to previously have been signed to a contract three-years or longer (Cristian Guzman)
$122,100,000 – The total amount the Nationals/Expos had previously paid free-agent players in their franchise history, which more than doubled with Werth’s $126,000,000 deal.
What do these number say to you?