Around the National League East: Nationals

Former Philladelphia Phillies left fielder Jason Werth signed with the Washington Nationals Sunday. It has been reported as a seven year 136 million dollar contract with the Washington Nationals.

This deal suprises me on several levels. It is as Mike Rizzo, the Nationals General Manager said, “A monumental day for the organization.” The Nationals have been making a push to try and change the culture, though. After drafting both Steven Strausburg number 1 overall in 2009 and then selecting Bryce Harper 1st overall in 2010, the attitude surrounding the Nationals was that they were willing to spend on young talent, giving huge bonuses to their first round draft picks. Yet, this Werth deal changes things a bit. They have given the 31 year old, a seven year contract.

Since the beggining of the offseason, Mike Rizzo claimed the Nationals were to be big players in the free agent market. He even believed they were going to be in the running for Free Agent LHP Cliff Lee. Yet, that plan seemeded a little ridiculous as Lee wants to go to a team that can win right now. Even with this Jason Werth signing, the Nationals are still far from favorites in the National League East.

Jason Werth hit .297 last year with 27 homers and 85 RBI’s. Look for his numbers to decrease in 2011, because he will no longer be in the homerun happy Citizens Bank Park, and he wont have the same protection around him that he did with the slugging Phillies.

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