The Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo says this is a monumental day for the Nationals organization. And indeed it is. Only days after Washington saw their slugging first baseman pack his bags and head to the windy city, they have signed another big bat for their lineup.
Dubbed the most attractive free agent not named Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth was coming out of Philadelphia finally living up to his 5-tool projections.
The Nationals will give Werth $126 million over seven years. When his contract is finally up, Werth will be 38 years old. Amazing any team would give a 31 year-old a seven year deal.
The thing to remember here is Werth is not the savior. This Nationals are still at least two years away from winning with Stephen Strasburg missing next year and Bryce Harper probably not ready until 2012/13. But when you combine Werth with Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Mike Morse and company they will have a good core group for years to come. Willingham could become disposable with Harper coming up and Roger Bernadina able to play outfield. And play it well.
The Werth signing does not make the Nationals a playoff team, not even close. But it does take a lot of the pressure off Zimmerman, who I am sure has been feeling it when Adam Dunn was not resigned.
Rizzo says right now they have Werth penciled in to hit middle of the order and play right field. He hinted to the fact it was still early in the offseason so things could change. Are the Nationals really looking at another signing? Highly unlikely.
However, I do agree, it is still early. Things could a lot more exciting from here on out.
Follow on twitter @kierancarobine