As I watch and listen to the national baseball people out there, there seems to be a common theme about Jayson Werth's long term signing. "Where was he going?! What was he thinking?!" Except this time, it's toward Nats GM Mike Rizzo, not worst-juicer-ever Nook Logan.
Most national baseball writers and reporters out there forgot the Washington Nationals were an actual baseball team, save Opening Day 2005 and June 8, 2010, so I find it particularly comical that most are getting so upset about the Jayson Werth signing.
The Nationals are in a situation similar to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, and the Baltimore Orioles. They've become a joke, and jokes don't sign big name guys. At least that's what the trend has been, especially in the Pirates case. You have teams that don't contend year after year because they deal away their best talent.
Mike Rizzo, though, is trying to buck the trend, and the Lerners look like they're at least going to let him try. Spending $126 million over 7 years for a guy that is 32 years old is a monumental chunk of change. There's no doubt. But I firmly believe it was the right chunk of change to spend.
Rizzo even admitted that if the Nationals were better, they wouldn't have had to offer Jayson Werth the kind of money they did. But they aren't good, and so they have to overpay to get the talent. There are an unbelievable number of people out there who simply don't seem to get that.
People can argue all they want about which guy would have been right for the Nats, and why they didn't go after Carl Crawford instead, or why not Cliff Lee (although it may be Cliff Lee... apparently)? But Mike Rizzo is being honest with himself, honest with his ownership, and honest with the fans, when he says the Nats aren't any good, and he's trying to do something about it by digging into the Lerner's very deep pockets.
Several people at the meetings are reporting that the Nats truly aren't done yet, so let's see what they do over the rest of the week before calling this the craziest move of all time.