Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tigers Still Interested in Werth

Even with the signing of catcher/designated hitter Victor Martinez, the Tigers are apparently still willing to pursue another expensive free agent hitter.  According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Tigers are interested in signing slugging outfielder Jayson Werth:
The Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers are seen as the most serious suitors for free agent outfielder Jayson Werth, according to major-league sources.
It won't be easy to outbid the Red Sox (who are the favorite to land him) and Phillies, but the Tigers have had success dealing with Werth's agent Scott Boras in the past.

Werth has batted .279/.376/.523 over the past three years.  He also has had 91.2 Batting Runs which ranks second among MLB right fielders during that period.   He is considered a better than average fielder with the numbers to back it up

One concern about Werth is that he has done his best hitting in cozy Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia.  Since 2008, he has a .920 OPS at home and .859 on the road.  Another potential issue is the switch from the NL to the AL, although his .919 career OPS in 314 PA alleviates that fear. 

The biggest worry for me would be his rumored desire for a six-year-deal.  That's too much for an outfielder, who is going to be 32 years old next May.  If that's the case, then I'd prefer the Tigers sign Magglio Ordonez to a much shorter-term deal.  In all likelihood, nothing is going to happen with Ordonez until Werth is signed and Werth isn't going to sign until left fielder Carl Crawford signs.  So, it may take a while before this all shakes out.    

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