Werth declines arbitration

Jayson Werth could be wearing a different uniform by the start of Spring Training. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

As expected, Jayson Werth declined the Phillies' offer of salary arbitration before the midnight deadline.

A press release from the players association late last night said only two players accepted their team's offer: Texas righthander Frank Francisco and Toronto reliever Jason Frasor. Seventy-one free agents from 23 teams had been offered arbitration.

The Phillies can still negotiate with Werth and agent Scott Boras, but the move means that if Werth signs elsewhere -- as expected -- the Phillies will receive two draft picks, because Werth is classified as a Type A free agent. The Phillies would get the top pick from the team that Werth signs with -- either a first or second rounder -- and then a sandwich pick between the first and second round.

Had Werth accepted, he would have agreed to a 1-year deal with the salary set by an arbitrator after he and team exchanged figures.

Werth clearly will receive more than a 1-year deal on the open market.