Werth's agent MIA at GM meetings
ORLANDO - One day this off-season, there will be big news about Jayson Werth. And one day this off-season, the Phillies will reveal a free-agent transaction they think will help them regain their status atop the baseball world.
ORLANDO - One day this off-season, there will be big news about Jayson Werth.
And one day this off-season, the Phillies will reveal a free-agent transaction they think will help them regain their status atop the baseball world.
Wednesday was not that day.
Bucking an annual trend in which Scott Boras has materialized in the hotel lobby to provide a theatric state-of-his-clients address, the agent to the stars remained uncharacteristically invisible Wednesday at the general manager meetings.
There was no sales pitch from Boras about the virtues of Werth, the Phillies' most prominent free agent.
The only news the Phils had to offer was an agreement on a minor-league contract with lefthanded reliever Dan Meyer, a South Jersey native out of Kingsway High.
Though Boras declined a chance to chat with reporters, the agent did have a conversation with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Tuesday.
"I've talked to Scott Boras," Amaro said. "He's got a whole slew of free agents, so we've touched base. I have nothing more to say about it, but we've talked."
Asked specifically whether he talked to Boras about Werth, Amaro said, "we talked."
Amaro said he has had some productive discussions with his fellow general managers.
"There have been a lot of interesting ideas being thrown around," he said. "It's pretty cool."
Amaro, of course, would not discuss any of those ideas, but there have been reports that the Phillies are interested in Carlos Quentin, a power-hitting rightfielder with the Chicago White Sox. If, as expected, Werth signs elsewhere, the Phillies will want to add a righthanded bat to their roster.
There was also a Venezuelan-based report Wednesday that said free-agent outfielder Magglio Ordonez was headed to Philadelphia for a medical examination.
"Unequivocally false," Amaro said.
A deal for the 28-year-old Quentin would make more sense for the Phillies. He is a .251 career hitter and has averaged 31 home runs the last three seasons. In 131 games last season, he batted .243 with 26 home runs and 87 RBIs. His best season was .2008, when he hit .288 with 36 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Jeff Francoeur, a 26-year-old free agent who played last season with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers, also remains a viable option for the Phillies as the righthanded side of a platoon with Domonic Brown in right field. Francoeur is a career .287 hitter against lefthanded pitching.
Meyer, 29, will go to spring training in Clearwater, Fla., with a chance to prove he can pitch for the team he grew up rooting for.
"If he can get back to the way he performed in 2009, he can absolutely help us," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said from his office in Philadelphia.
Meyer, a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2002, has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues, but his only full season was 2009, when he went 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 71 appearances with the Florida Marlins.
In 2010, Meyer got off to an abysmal start, spent two weeks in May on the disabled list with a calf strain, and posted a 10.80 ERA in 12 appearances before being optioned to the minor leagues. He returned for one game in July and pitched a scoreless inning before being sent to the Marlins' triple-A team in New Orleans for the remainder of the year. Meyer was 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and two saves in 32 appearances with New Orleans.
"Our scouts saw him in the minors at the end of the year and, based on what they saw, they think he can bounce back and help us," Proefrock said. "He was interested in coming here because of his ties to the community."
Meyer, who was drafted out of James Madison University, told the Gloucester County Times that he was excited to have a chance to pitch for his hometown team.
"I wanted to stay on the East Coast, and it just so happened it was with my hometown team," he said. "I've always been a Philly guy, rooted for all the Philly teams growing up, so I'm excited. It was a great fit. They didn't promise me anything, but they didn't close any doors either. I'm happy to have a chance. I feel like I can help this team."
One of the few things Amaro has not kept secret this off-season is that he is in search of lefthanded relief help.
Meyer "could be a guy who could help us at the big-league level," the GM said. "Does it preclude us from getting other lefthanders? No, it does not."
Before the off-season is over, the Phillies figure to add a more expensive and accomplished lefthanded reliever and a righthanded bat.
It just didn't happen on this day.