Is anybody hearing that Jayson Werth is going to retire, donate his facial hair to Follicles of Love, and spend the next five years studying at a former South Beach IHOP that Ricky Williams has converted into a yoga studio?
Because that might be the only thing that people aren't hearing right now.
Here is the official High Cheese timeline, geared toward those who may have spent part of the last couple months trapped in a Chilean mine or drifting on a powerless cruise ship in the middle of an ocean:
Oct. 25, 11 a.m. - In his year-end press conference, Ruben Amaro Jr. says the Phillies have the resources to re-sign Werth.
"‘Do we have enough money to do it, and would we like to bring him back?’ The answer to both questions is yes," Amaro says. "However, that’ll all kind of depend on what the ask is, and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that.”
Oct. 25, 2 p.m. - In his year-end press conference, Werth says the Phillies have the resources to re-sign him.
"They could probably sign whoever they want," Werth says. "Whether or not that's me, we'll have to wait and see."
Nov. 10, 11 p.m. - In his well-respected column on ESPN.com, former Philadelphia Inquirer baseball writer Jayson Stark quotes a "Phillies source" on "the odds of his team finding a way to keep Jayson Werth."
"No chance," the source says. "None. Zero."
Who is the source? The only thing we can say for sure is that the source is not the Phillie Phanatic. Because, well, the Phanatic does not speak.
Now, if the source had responded to the Werth question by sticking out his tongue and thrusting his stomach. . .
On the other hand. . .
Nov. 12, 9 p.m. - Sports Illustrated/MLB Network scribe Jon Heyman offers a rebuttal:
"Heard Phils making big push to keep Werth," Heyman writes on Twitter.
It looks like we've got ourselves a good old-fashioned Showcase Showdown.
Nov. 13, 9 a.m. - Heyman clarifies previous dispatch about the Werth situation.
"want to repeat, i dont see much chance werth signs back w philly quickly," he Twitters. "still see red sox as favorite tho phils r trying."
So the Phillies are pushing to sign Werth, but they aren't pushing hard enough. Although, upon further examination, that might have been an errant text message he hurriedly typed at a crowded bar.
Nov. 13, 10:15 a.m. - Stark checks back in to clarify the quote from his source.
". . .quote didn't mean to imply #Phillies aren't trying - but not at years & $$ Boras looking for," he writes on Twitter.
And, finally. . .
Nov. 13, 11 a.m. - The hardest working man in the Baseball Media Biz, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network, puts the situation into the following context:
"Phillies' push to sign Werth is to provide PR cover," he writes. "They can say they tried, made him big offer. No way Boras signs Werth this early."
Put all of this together, and here is what you have:
The Phillies have enough money to sign Werth, but they don't think it prudent to spend the type of money over the type of length that Werth and Boras are seeking, so they know that they won't end up signing him, but they are going to make one last offer anyway, and they want people to interpret that last offer as them trying their darndest to re-sign a player whose departure, at least on paper, will leave a sizeable hole in their batting order.
Which, from everything that I have heard and witnessed over the past six months, is a pretty fair representation of Reality.
One thing you can count on: the Phillies don't want this thing hanging over their heads the entire offseason (remember, Boras has no problem taking his time with negotiations). And since they seem to be working on a limited budget, there will likely come a time when they have to take their standing offer off the table and start deploying those resources elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised to hear Amaro announce something of the sort in the near future, perhaps as soon as the GM meetings, which begin in Orlando on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, we have reached a point in time where we realize we will not be able to meet the expectations Scott and Jayson have. We made what we feel like is a competitive offer that would have made Jayson the highest-paid outfielder in Phillies history. But we can't afford to put everything else on hold and risk missing out on the various other improvements that we feel will keep our club in contention to win another World Series. We plan on offering Jayson arbitration, but at this point in time we have made our best multi-year offer, and it has been rejected. We wish Jayson all the best."
You may now return to your latest Cam Newton development.