Last night on “Baseball Tonight,” Buster Olney reported that the Phillies are working very hard to acquire a starting pitcher. Specifically, Olney says Roy Oswalt fits the bill perfectly for the Phils. So what does this have to do with the Rays? Olney says it will take a third team to get the deal done…

“To make this work financially, [the Phillies] probably would have to include Jayson Werth in some type of three-team deal.”

The Phillies want to move Werth and the remainder of the $7 million he is owed this season (he is a free agent after the season). But the Astros would prefer prospects.

Enter the Rays. Olney adds:

“If Werth was to go anywhere right now, it appears that the leading team to get him would be the Tampa Bay Rays.”

So the Rays would send

prospect(s) to Houston. Houston sends Oswalt to the Phils and the Phillies give Jayson Werth to the Rays. In addition, Werth will be a Type A free agent after the season. Assuming he declines arbitration, the Rays would also receive two draft picks in next year’s draft.

Of course the unanswered question in all this is: What would the Astros want from the Rays?

Werth is hitting .280-13-50 with 6 stolen bases. In 2009 he hit .268-36-99 with 20 stolen bases. But don’t buy into the hype that Werth is struggling this year. His OPS in 2009 was .879. This year it is nearly-identical at .873. His wOBA is .376 which is only 6 points off his 2008 and 2009 rates (.382). His fielding is down considerably the past two seasons (3.1 runs total) compared to 2007 (13.3 runs) and 2008 (17.8 runs). But with the Rays, he is likely to spend most of his time at DH.

Depending on who the ‘Stros are asking for, Werth would be a welcome addition to the middle of the Rays lineup.



  1. Sarah says:

    Didn't we try converting a poor-fielding Phillies outfielder into our DH before? And how did that work out?

    If we get Werth, can the RFO pull a Steinbrenner and make him shave the beard?

    • Stephanie says:

      To be fair, Cork didn't say he was a poor feilder. He's just not as good as he used to be.

      The Rays could upgrade on both sides of the ball without trading prospects if they would just bench/trade Bartlett.

      • Beth says:

        Yeah, I know, but if the plan is to use him as DH it doesn't really matter. The question is whether he can hit, and whether his hitting skills would survive the transition to DH.

    • Preston says:

      As a man with a beard, I take offense to that. More men need beards. Beards are good for the Country. Beards cure diseases. Beards end world hunger.

  2. Charles says:

    Man, I am not a fan of this move. Werth's totals may be in line with his numbers from last year, but his July is not good. No homers and 3 RBI in 16 games. If you're trading for him, you have to wonder how much more of that there will be (especially with the AL/DH adjustment) before it gets better, and the Rays are in a place where they can't really afford ANY more of that.

  3. Don says:

    Give them Sonnanstein...what can you lose...he's a starting pitcher....
    isn't he?

    • Benny says:

      Do you mean Sonnanstine, or is there some other Rays pitcher named Sonnanstein I haven't yet heard of?

  4. Hal says:

    Put me in the "I hate the thought of this" camp. Why can't we just put our best lineup on the field every night? Zobrist in right (I know, but he's usually solid), Rodriguez at second, and Briggy at short. Bring up Dan Johnson and put him at DH, stop hitting Joyce in the 5 hole, and stop trying to trade for overrated Phillies. I've always been a Choate defender - not anymore. There just has to be something out there better than the Choate/Cormier confluence.

  5. MJ says:

    I dont understand why everyones hating on this move. First of all we don't know who we would send. Secondly, werth can mash. The comparisons to burrell should end at the fact they were both phillies. He may be cold right now but he is a hitter.

    • Stephanie says:

      I don't hate this move. Bobby Abreu has done fine after coming to the AL from the Phillies. And I won't hold Burrells epic sucktitude against anyone but Burrell. Also Werth will be gone after this year, so if he flops it will only be for two months and the Rays won't be eating salary. (This trade is just speculation and I don't think it will happen anyway.)

      I just wish the Rays would make some obvious moves that are free before looking outside the organization. Not saying they can't make a trade, but replacing Cormier and benching Bartlett more often would also improve the team.

      • Alex says:

        You mean Bartlett who's hitting really well right now? The same Bartlett that's getting his stroke back? As for other "obvious" moves: What Dan Johnson? Mr. AAAA? Ha! And you guys thought Blalock was bad. He's worse than Pena contact wise, has less power and has no defensive skills. AAA stats don't mean much for a guy his age.

  6. Ben says:

    I'm sorry. This move is wrong on all accounts.

    First and foremost, coming from Buster Olney is not reliable (the man spews more speculation than I can imagine, Kirkjian would is more reliable).

    We don't need an OF/DH necessarily. Especially one that will most likely be gone come 2011.

    We need a middle reliever that is preferably left handed to take some of the pressure off of Choate and allow him to assume his natural LOOGY role.

    I like Aybar and Jaso as the DHs.

    PS @Buster Olney: We don't have the same farm system we used to have here in St. Pete. We have great prospects definitely but with the impending departure of Crawford, Upton, Pena, and/or Bartlett we will have holes to fill in the very near future. Keeping this in mind, please Mr. Olney, when a team "wants prospects" don't just assume that the Rays are the missing piece.


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