Ben's “Werth” It So Far, Not Jayson

Let’s talk stats and then I’ll let you guess whom they belong to:

What NL East right fielder is batting just .200 (7-for-35), slugging .371 and has an OPS of .711 with three doubles, one homer, one RBI and no steals through nine games so far this season?
Hint: He is still wearing red but not the shade with a Phillies “P” on it.

That’s right, Nationals’ pride Jayson Werth has started his career of being “the man” in our Nation’s Capital by looking anything but the man on the field.

Believe it or not the $126-million man isn’t living up to his monster contract so far in 2011.

Jayson Werth -- the ex-Phillie who allegedly told GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., “you dumbass, you could’ve had both of us” after the Phillies signed Cliff Lee -- hasn’t done much at this early point to prove that he is worth the seven-year, $126-million deal he signed with NL East rival Washington.

Yes it’s only nine games but Werth has done little to justify his Scrooge McDuck pockets while his replacement Ben Francisco -- the other guy from the original Lee trade from Cleveland -- has proved quite formidable as an everyday player.

Here are Frankie’s stats so far:

He is batting .306 (11-for-36), slugging .528 and has an OPS of .903 with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and one steal through nine games.

It’s a small sampling, but with the Phils and Nats kicking off a three-game set in D.C. Tuesday it’s worth comparing Werth and his replacement.

Werth trails Frankie in every category so far except for doubles.

It looks like the first-place Phillies making the decision to pursue pitching (a.k.a. Lee) while letting expensive offense (ala Werth) go was the right move -- even if Francisco trails off as the season progresses.

It comes down to the mighty dollar. This season Francisco is making $1,175 million (about $7,253 per game over the 162-game season) while Werth is getting paid $10 million (about $61,728 per game).

Just look at this way. Through the first nine games of the year the Phillies are getting better production from a much cheaper bat than the Nats are getting from their prized possession. If this keeps up throughout the year Amaro will wind up looking like a genius and Werth will wind up dipping further into the oblivion that comes with signing a deal with a franchise like the Nats that has never won and at best is three years away from competing.

Jayson took the money and ran… and in the process he gave the Phillies the financial space to sign Lee and possibly win another ring or two. So let’s not be mad at Jayson but instead thank him for likely making the Phils better by shipping out of town.

And don’t’ worry, it’s OK to secretly wish him ill will or all the best as he takes his hacks against Lee on Thursday. Because at the end of the day we got Cliff Lee and Francisco and Werth got the money.

Win, win.

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