While basking in the announcement that Pat Gillick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Phillies president David Montgomery conceded that he was "disappointed" that Jayson Werth left via free agency.
Werth agreed to a 7-year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals on Sunday, sending shockwaves through the winter meetings in Orlando.
"We had made an effort to retain Jayson. But at the end of the day, I guess our efforts were dwarfed by another franchise," Montgomery said.
"At this point we have to look forward. Personally, I can't thank Jayson enough for the four seasons he gave us. He blossomed. I had this discussion with Jayson on the last day, the day he was packing up. He came to us with the question, could he play? Certainly could he play every day was a huge question. And he emerged to be a very, very significant everyday player and gave us a lot of on-field success. And hopefully we have enough left to continue that success. At the same time, we wish him well."
Gillick brought Werth to the Phillies and was with the Baltimore Orioles when Werth was drafted.
"I'm happy," Gillick said. "How can you not be happy? He goes all the way back to Baltimore with me and farther back than that because his stepfather Dennis played for me in triple-A in New York. I'm happy for him. That's a lot of money. You can buy a lot of real estate in Springfield, Ill. with $126 million ...
"It leaves a hole, certainly. But we're going to try to do everything … possible to plug it, but certainly you take his home runs, RBIs and defense away, he's a pretty complete player you take out of the lineup."