In live chats lately, it feels like 80% of the questions are about Jayson Werth. Fans are obviously interested in whether he will remain a Philly beyond 2010. Werth spoke about that today (though he did not want to talk about his new look); here is some of what he had to say:
“I think everybody knows the situation. It’s not secret, but really I’m focused on playing baseball and being part of another championship season.
Does he see himself as comparable to Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, who both received generous contracts this offseason?
“I think their situation is a little different from mine. I think I’m a season away from something like that. I think I’m really just focused on being part of something special again.”
Would he be open to discussion a contract extension during the season?
"We’ll have to see. That’s what I’ve got an agent for. They handle all that stuff. My focus is the Philadelphia Phillies, the guys in that clubhouse, the city of Philadelphia, and winning another championship.
"This is the first time I’ve been in a situation like that, where you’re dealing with a long-term deal and extensions and all that. This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity at that. We’ll deal with that as it comes, but it’s not something I’m going to be focused on."
Have he and the Phillies talked yet about an extension?
“Very preliminary….nothing really.”
Does he feel that the Phillies budget limitations will be a factor in his future?
“I haven’t really thought about it. I know that how much they’re spending is an issue. I think its’ always an issue no matter what the situation is. I definitely think that will play a part of it going forward, but that’s something my agent and the team will work out. But hopefully it will work out and I’ll be in Philadelphia for a long time…I’m already a part of something special here, and have been for the past few years. To continue that would be awesome, it’s just going forward, we’re going to have to see what works.”
Does he feel that he owes the Phillies anything because he gave them an opportunity?
“It’s tough to say right now. Spring training starts tomorrow, and yes, I am very grateful for what they’ve done for me, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel and even Ruben. It’s an interesting situation for me to be in, for me to describe, for you to describe what I’m trying to say. I don’t want to be sitting here and blowing smoke or anything like that, but I love the Phillies, I love Philadelphia, I love playing there, I love my teammates, and again, I’m just focused on the task at hand.”