Nationals’ Werth ends final regular season of historic contract
WASHINGTON D.C.– Jayson Werth stepped to the plate in his final regular season game of the 2017 and didn’t expect to hear the roar of the crowd and see the highlight reel the team had prepared for him.
To Werth, it was just another at bat but for fans of the team it was a historic moment. Werth is nearing the end of his 7-year, $126 million deal he signed in December of 2010.
At the time the Nationals were coming of a season in which the team went 69-93, an improvement over the 103 losses they tallied they year before but not the kind of team that usually lands a baseball superstar.
Werth said he saw the potential in the team to turn things around.
“I came here, against all odds, to win,” said Werth. “When I signed here it was a joke but this place isn’t a joke. This has been one of the best teams in baseball since I’ve signed here I’m definitely proud of that but we need to win.”
Werth said over the years he’s seen the team mature but also fall short of team goals in the playoffs. He feels like this year’s team has the special components needed to win the World Series.
“Dusty needs his championship,” said Werth.
Fans would also like to see the team hoist the World Series Trophy after seeing the team fail to advance in the playoffs in the last three attempts. Attendance has risen along with the win totals– going from around 1.8 million people in 2010 to more 2.5 million this spring and summer.
Werth’s season was sidetracked this year when he fouled a ball off his foot in July. That deep bruise kept him on the bench for several weeks. Over the weekend he smacked his 10th home run of the year and the 300th double of his career.
There is no talk of a retirement for the 38-year-old but there also hasn’t been a lot of talk about extending his contract. You can envision his starting left field spot being filled next season by Michael A. Taylor, who filled in admirably this year for Adam Eaton (lost early in the season due to a knee injury that required surgery.)
Wherever Werth lands he will be remembered in Washington fondly. If it’s on the bench for the Nationals you can better there will continue to be healthy cheers for him at Nationals Park.
Werth was a capital improvement for the Nationals organization and helped lead them to consistent winning seasons. Something that sets them up for what could be a special 2017 for Werth and the clubhouse he helped build on S. Capitol Street.