It's not every day the Phillies are outbid by the Washington Nationals. And 24 hours after Jayson Werth signed a 7-year, $126 million deal with the perennial NL East doormat, the reaction from the Phillies reflected that.
"I'm disappointed," club president David Montgomery said. "We had made an effort to retain Jayson. But at the end of the day, I guess our efforts were dwarfed by another franchise."
The Phillies are believed to have offered Werth a contract in the neighborhood of the 4-year, $66 million deal that Jason Bay signed with the Mets last offseason. The Phillies website reported the exact terms to be $60 million over 4 years, including a vesting option.
"I'm happy," said former GM Pat Gillick, who drafted Werth with the Orioles and later signed the Illinois-native when he was as a little-known free agent before the 2007 season. "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."
Add another name to the spring-training roster. The Phillies have agreed to a minor league deal with soon-to-be 29-year-old righthander Brian Bass, who spent last year in the Pirates organization. With the Orioles in 2008 and '09, Bass posted a 4.71 ERA and 5.6 strikeouts and 4.4 walks-per-nine in 53 appearances, four of them starts.