Jayson Werth’s drive to Citizens Bank Park yesterday felt a little different. For the first time in his four years here, the right fielder noticed and admired the leaves changing colors.
Funny. Because it might be the last time Werth makes the trek to the Phillies’ ballpark.
“It’s still setting in, I guess,” Werth said.
Werth never expected to be done playing baseball this early. Now that he is, the free-agent outfielder has to face the possibility that he won’t be a Phillie.
While Werth looked and sounded like a player who very much wants to remain in Philadelphia, he also understands that it’s a business. He learned that lesson as a gangly 18-year-old, when he negotiated his first signing bonus.
“It’s a business. This is definitely not the same game I played in my grandparents’ backyard as a kid,” Werth said.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn’t close the door on Werth. The Phillies have exclusive negotiating rights with him until five days after the World Series. Talks are expected to begin in the next 48 hours.
“We’ll make contact,” Amaro said. “I guess the follow-up questions are: Do we have enough money to do it? And would we like to bring him back? I think the answers to both questions are yes.”
Werth said he’s in no hurry to make a decision. At 31, this could his last shot at a big-time payday, which could be in the seven-year, $120 million range. Of course, he wouldn’t rule out a shorter deal.
“I’m all ears, I’m open to everything,” Werth said.