Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Does 'Jayson Werth problem' have solution?


Dave Cameron on the Jayson Werth Problem:
We like Ruben Amaro. You have to like a general manager whose team has won three straight division titles, and nearly three straight National League championships.

But this all goes back to the Raul Ibanez contract, which we hated. If the Phillies hadn't signed Ibanez for $31.5 million, they'd have a little more cash available for Werth. If the Phillies hadn't signed Ibanez, they would have the perfect spot for Domonic Brown.

Instead, if they are able to re-sign Werth they'll have to either eat some of Ibanez's salary or make Brown wait another few months for an every-day job.

As usual, the real issue here isn't money. It's flexibility. When the Phillies were foolish enough to commit $31.5 million to Ibanez, they were also committing three years and 1,800 plate appearances to him. Which, even though he's played reasonably well through the first two years and 1,200 plate appearances, just never made much sense.

And of course the Phillies get to play this record all over again when Ryan Howard's $125 million contract begins in 2012. You would think at some point Amaro's affection for RBI is going to come back and bite him.