In the end, Jayson Werth took the money and the years. And a lot of each.
Werth signed a seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals on Sunday, worth a reported $126 million. It is a shocking twist of developments and a major coup for Werth and his agent, Scott Boras. The deal will accomplish exactly what Werth had wanted: His family is set for life.
And now, he will go to Washington as the face of the franchise and see the National League East rival Phillies 18 times a season.
"It is an elite player," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said at a news conference. "Elite players get a lot of money."
Washington signing Werth is somewhat of a blow to the Phillies because they will not receive a first-round pick as compensation even though Werth is a Type A free agent.
The Nationals have the sixth pick in the draft and the top 15 picks are protected by Major League Baseball from being moved as compensation. That means the Phillies will receive a second-round pick from Washington along with a compensatory pick in the sandwich round.
As officials from the Phillies and all around baseball convened to Florida for the annual winter meetings, it was a surprise beginning.
The Phillies, now, can officially move on from Werth -- something they were likely to face at some point during this off-season. It will be near impossible for the Phillies to replace Werth's production in rightfield, but they will search for possible platoon players, like Matt Diaz or Jeff Francoeur, to team up with Domonic Brown. That is, if Brown starts the season in the majors.
Much, much more to come. Now I'm getting on my flight to Orlando.