EDITOR’S NOTE: Maury Brown will be reporting this week from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando
If there’s such a thing as a free agent signing hangover, surely it’s showing its true colors today at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. As media members get their day started, the buzz still centers around the mega-deal that now former Phillie outfielder Jayson Werth landed with the Washington Nationals.
If GM Mike Rizzo was looking to make a splash before many had arrived here, he’s done so, and then some. The seven-year, $126 million deal, so gaudy in its monetary sum that agent Scott Boras didn’t need to shop other teams, is now the benchmark for other position players.
The contract terms by year haven’t been released… No word on whether there’s any buyout clause with which the Nationals could exit. By all accounts, they’re locked in.
When looking at the annual average value (AAV ), the Werth deal is a staggering $18 million per year. In other pre-Winter Meeting contracts this year, here’s how the Werth deal stacks up:
The happiest player, however, may not be Jayson Werth but Carl Crawford. With Werth now setting the market, many feel he could land in excess of 10/$180 million (let’s add to the rumor mill and say it will be 10 years, $186.5 million). The reason for the bump? 10/$180 million matches Werth’s AAV. Crawford will seek a bit more. How about $18.65 million for an AAV?
If so, the deal now almost exclusively is a Yankees affair. The Angels might still be in the mix, and the Red Sox are a possibility, but given that the latter is delaying the Adrian Gonzalez signing to avoid the Luxury Tax threshold, unless Theo Epstein gets creative, it seems to come back the Yankees.
Unless, of course, some other “Nationals” deal comes along. One thing seems clear…. This year could be much more active than in the recent past during the Winter Meetings.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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