As expected, Jayson Werth has signed with Scott Boras. I think Werth was already shaping up to be one of the most interesting free agent choices in some time, but this adds to the intrigue.
His 2010 season was being talked about like it was a disappointment for much of the early part of the season, but you look up and you realize that he leads the Phillies in OPS, out-slugging Ryan Howard. He has started more games and has had more plate appearances than anyone on the team. The guy everyone thinks will make Werth expendable — Domonic Brown — is apparently not ready for prime time yet, batting .214/.242/.375 in limited play. And then Werth goes and pulls the hero act with that blast yesterday, causing my Twitter feed to fill up with a bunch of #resignJaysonWerth hash tags from Phillies people.
At the same time, Werth is 31 years-old and the Phillies ridiculously overpaid for Howard recently, putting their financial flexibility into some doubt. Boras isn’t known for having clients who sign hometown discounts, and that’s even before you remember that Werth’s hometown is in the Midwest, not Philly.
Ultimately I think he fits best with Philly and they probably need him the most. But as the season has gone on, the likelihood of that happening has gotten lower and lower, I’d say.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.