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.