It only took a few days in camp as a National for the Phillies former right fielder to talk about his old team. During Cliff Lee’s press conference, he mentioned how Werth was not happy that he decided to join the team. But it was ultimately Werth’s decision to take the money and run south to Washington. You can’t blame a player when you are dealing with that much money, it is a business and he was out to get the most money he could. Werth stated that he felt the team made a mistake when they traded Lee after the 2009 season; he felt that if they would have originally kept Lee, it would have made it easier to resign him.
"I think if (the front office) would have played it right they would have had us both, I mean, they traded Cliff away for prospects and then realized that was probably not what they should have done. They ended up paying him a lot more than they would have if they'd signed him the year before. Then we would have had him. Chances are if they had signed him before they traded him, it probably would have made it a little easier to sign me." Werth said to the Philadelphia Daily News
So is Werth just bitter that his current team will be fighting to get out of the basement while his former team could win 100+ games and win another World Series. Maybe but is Jayson right with what he said. If the team would have not traded Lee after 2009 season, what the team would look like? Before I get into the hypothetical, I want to state that I think Ruben Amaro Jr. has done an amazing job and deserves a lot of credit for putting this amazing team together. I’m not trying to 2nd guess what he did or criticize him in any way; I just think it is interesting to look at what the team might look like if they hadn’t traded him.
To make this realistic, I am going to go back on the day they traded Lee to the Mariners and go through the big moves they made since then and see what the team would look like. The Lee and Halladay trades were separate, so the team could have realistically kept both. Lee still be wearing his #34 jersey and Doc would have had to chose another number. The Phillies would not have those prospects in their system. They also would still have the 1st pick they lost by signed Lee who was a type A FA.
Lee for ( 1st round pick)Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez
I’m also going to assume that Lee would have been willing to sign a similar extension like the one that Halladay received.
Phillies Sign Lee to a 3 year $60 million extension
The other major move that would have been affected is the Phillies acquiring Roy Oswalt from the Astros’s at last seasons’ trade deadline. I think that if the team had Doc, Lee and Hamels, they would have not had the need to acquire Oswalt. Now obviously there is no way of knowing, but I think it is more realistic that Roy wouldn’t have been a Phillie.
Roy Oswalt for J.A Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar
Now back to the seemingly bitter RF to our South, this is going to be the biggest stretch of the entire scenario. There is no way the team would have ever matched the insane deal he received from the Nats, but the team might have bumped up their offer a little.
Werth Signs a 4 year $78 extension
So to recap all of the moves, here is what the Phillies would have “received” and who they would no longer have.
Phillies: Jayson Werth, 2011 1st round pick, J.A Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathan Villar
“Lost”” Roy Oswalt, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez
The Phillies rotation would be Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Happ and Blanton, that isn’t has good as the current rotation, but it is very good. The team would also have Werth still batting 5th and high end prospect’s Gose and Villar in the System. I think Villar and Gose are having more total value than what the current prospects do from the Lee deal. But a lot of this scenario is based on both Lee and Werth signing for a lot less money. Lee already showed he would do this to some extent and it is realistic to think he might have signed an identical deal that Doc signed after the 09 season. But would have Werth left any money on the table? I doubt it, it seemed as though he was out to get paid and that is exactly what he did.
It’s always fun to look back at past deals and say “what if”. In a perfect world it would have been great to keep Lee after last season and been able to sign him to a more team friendly contract, but that involves a lot of “ifs” and speculation. Right now we have one of the best teams in baseball and one of the best rotations in history. The team may look a little different right now; it might also include the bearded man we all used to love. But Ruben and the Phillies have done a great job assembling the team who will take on the Yankees tomorrow in Grape Fruit League Action. Maybe Werth had a point in what he said, but if he wanted to be a Phillie, he would be one. He chose the money and will get a front row seat for some games when the Nats play the Phillies this season. At the end of the year, I believe the team will have no regrets, while a certain Right Fielder will be watching the postseason and going through his on what if’s!