It has become a Philadelphia trait to obsess on the players who are leaving rather than the ones who are staying.
Jeremiah Trotter was going to destroy the Eagles as a member of the rival Washington Redskins. Terrell Owens was going to embarrass his former team from Dallas. Sheldon Brown? Brian Dawkins? They were too valuable to lose!
Well, the alarmists might have been right about Dawk.
For much of the past season, Phillies fans have been all twisted up about whether Jayson Werth would leave as a free agent.
Well, now he has: Werth has agreed to a reported seven-year, $126-million contract with the Washington Nationals. The worst has happened and you know what? It’s not that bad.
Sorry, but the Phillies would have been idiots to give Werth that deal. Those of you who bemoan their commitment to the aging Raul Ibanez should fast-forward to 2015, when an aged Phillies team would have been locked into two more years with a broken-down Werth. The GM would be cursing his predecessor – no way Ruben Amaro Jr. is still here if he tossed that contract Werth’s way – for tying his hands with such a short-sighted deal.
With their top four starting pitchers and the Howard/Utley/Rollins nucleus, the Phillies have everything it takes to be a contender. If the pitchers or that lineup fail to produce as needed, Werth would not make that much of a difference. You pay money like that to players who do make a difference in that situation.
We learned Sunday that Werth was always going to take the biggest contract he could get. Period. You don’t sign with the Washington Nationals to win. You certainly don’t leave the Phillies for the Nationals to win.
Werth got what he wanted. The Phillies will be fine without him, provided they spend a chunk of the money Werth would have commanded on bullpen help and a solid veteran corner outfielder.
Life will go on. It really will.