The Seattle Mariners signed former All-Star outfielder Jayson Werth to a Minor League deal on Tuesday. Jayson Werth is likely to be sent to Peoria for extended Spring Training, after which he will report to Triple-A Tacoma.
“I don’t have any history with Jayson, but looking from afar he’s been on a lot of winning teams, he knows how to play, he controls the strike zone very well, he’s a good, veteran presence in the clubhouse and he was looking for an opportunity to extend his career,” Mariners’ Manager Scott Servais said. “We felt we could get him some at-bats in the Triple-A level.”
“He hasn’t had any spring training so it’s going to take him a little while but I’m excited to have him in the organization.”
The former beginning of an era for the Nationals’ franchise, completed a 7-year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals in 2017. Werth became yet another victim of the horrendous 2017-18 offseason that has forced numerous player, just like himself, to settle for Minor League deals.
Jayson Werth will turn 39 in May of 2018 and while he has had his fair share of high points with the Nationals, 2017 was not exactly a career year for Werth who only partook in 70 games, and hit .226/.322/.393 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 289 plate appearances. As of the end of the 2017 season, Werth is a lifetime .267 hitter with 229 career homers, he’s also played for the Phillies (winning a World Series with Philadelphia in 2008), Blue Jays, and Dodgers.
While Werth was hoping for a contract extension with the Washington Nationals this offseason, the club showed no interest in re-signing him. Adam Eaton will now take Werth’s left field job as the Nationals make one last push for October with Bryce Harper.
The Seattle Mariners just acquired 44-year-old future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki on a Major League deal, and Werth will have to fight his way into Seattle’s outfield. Another injury in the Mariners outfield would all but guarantee a spot for Werth on the Major League roster, as long as he does well in Triple-A. While this deal is definitely not what Werth had in mind heading into the 2017-18 offseason, he has a job, which is more than players such as Jose Bautista and Greg Holland can say just two days before Opening Day.