Werth: Phillies could have had me and Lee

Jayson Werth arrived at Nationals spring training today and reflected on his time with the Phillies and the way it ended:

(Hard feelings all those guys got extended and you didn’t?)

“Hard feelings? No. It’s a business. It really is. Baseball is the same game I’ve been playing since I’ve been a kid. But when it comes to the business side of it, it really is dollars and cents. And the team has more to do on that end than anybody else.”

(Made a comment that they could do whatever they want. Really believe they could have afforded to keep you and sign Cliff Lee?)

“I think if they would have played it right they would have had us both. I mean, they traded Cliff away for prospects and then realized that was probably not what they should have done.

“They ended up paying him a lot more than they would have if they’d signed him the year before. Then we would have had him. Chances are if they had signed him before they traded him, it probably would have made it a little easier to sign me.”

(Shocked when they signed Lee?)

“Not really. I had an inside edge.”

“I kind of knew it was always a possibility and I kind of felt it was going to be one or the other. At that point. When it wasn’t me, and what they were talking to me about in terms of years, it kind of made it seem like they were playing us off against each other a little bit.

“That’s the name of the game. That’s the business of it. You miss on one, you get on the other. That’s how they played it. Unfortunately I think if they’d played it right, they probably could have had us both.”

(Did you think about what Aaron Rowand went through when he signed with a last place team and then ended up with another ring?)

“Now he’s got another ring. The thing about this team that was interesting to me was the owners and where they were coming from and what they were trying to do. It’s an interesting group. Ted Lerner is an interesting guy. He’s not like any other owner in baseball,, I don’t think. It’s a one family ownership, so the situation here is different than what it would be anywhere else.

“After they assured me that they were going to take the right steps to continue to add to the young core group of players they had and were throwing around the number of years they were throwing around, the more I stepped back and took a look at this team and where I thought it was going in the future and what could be done here and the type of situation I’d be in, it was actually the type of situation I wanted to be in. Getting in on the ground floor and building it to the top. That kind of turned me on in a sense.”


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