Jayson Werth Potentially “Got Paid”

  I apologize for not posting anything last week.  I had mid-terms so I had to spend my time studying. I think I failed my Italian mid-term. Molto, molto male.

  However, it’s back to business. 

I currently have a theory (which I believe even Bill Simmons himself would give credit to) that I mentioned during  “Shoutouts” in specific regards to Jayson Werth, the right fielder whom Philadelphia had fallen in and out of love with.  The same player whom fans held up signs saying “Werth it” after the questions of him re-signing with the Phillies started. The same five-tool player  who decided to take a 7 year $126 million contract and left Philly to take his talents to Washington D.C. 

I call it the “Got Paid” theory, excellent.  It states the following: “An athlete who, because of his recent performance, has received a large sum of money from an organization, whether it is from the athlete’s current or another organization, in hopes that he will continue with at least the same production.  However, said athlete’s performance usually declines at a steady rate until he is dubbed, including but not limited to, “overpaid” or a “bust.” 

Now I know there are a lot of overpaid athletes (Joe Johnson anyone?), but there are specific criteria that HAVE to fulfilled before the athletes can be deemed, “Got Paid.”

1. The athlete must have a productive season/s prior to the signing of a big contract.

2. The athlete must be a prized free agent during the off-season

3. The athlete must sign that contract with a team who finished worse than his current team during the prior season/s.

4. The expectations of the athlete must increase. Example: Houshmandzadeh being considered a top receiver when he signed with the Seahawks.

5. The athlete must have a significant drop in production during the years succeeding the signing of that big contract.

Look at some examples of athletes who “Got Paid” over the years.

Barry Zito – 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Oakland Athletics. He finished with a 23-5 record and a 2.75 ERA; Signed a 7 year $128 million deal with the San Francisco Giants and hasn’t had a winning season, nor has he been under a 4.00 ERA since.

TJ Houshmandzadeh – 2008 Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. He had 112 receptions for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns; Signed a 5 year $40 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks and posted 79 and 35 receptions in 2 years since.

Albert Haynesworth – Two time pro bowler for the Tennessee Titans and considered the prize of the 2009 off-season; Signed a 7 year $100 million contract and has been playing like this since.

 This should scare Werth because he did fall into his own slump last year as his contract situation became more and more imminent .   He arguably had his most productive season individually (I know, he couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position) in 2010 (step 1, check).  He signed with the Washington Nationals who only finished 22 games behind the Phillies in the division last year (step 2, check).  There is a lot on Werth this season as he is projected to be the National’s clean up hitter, (much different from his batting fifth on the Phillies where his main function was protecting Ryan Howard) and along with Ryan Zimmerman, becomes their biggest run producer.  It sounds like a tall order for a player who has never hit 100 RBI’s in his career.  With MLB contracts being guaranteed there is a comfort zone Werth can fall into because he is going to get the full payment of his contract regardless if he is cut or traded by the Nationals. We’ll see if he helps me get one step closer to turning my theory into a law.

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