Former Phillies Outfielder Jayson Werth Announces Retirement
The Phillies are set to honor the 10 year reunion of the 2008 World Series Champion team in August. Most players on that roster have retired from baseball, either officially or unofficially. But one 2008 World Champion Phillies player made it official on Wednesday.
Outfielder Jayson Werth, who started in right field for the 2008 World Champion and 2010 National League Champion team, announced his retirement Wednesday. Werth told Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports (formerly Fan Rag Sports) that he was going to be hanging it up. “I’m done … whatever you want to call it,” Werth told Heyman via telephone.
Werth represents one of the success stories for former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick. Gillick drafted Werth as a catcher while serving as general manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Werth was later traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he made his major league debut. After two seasons, Werth was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Werth suffered a broken wrist with the Dodgers in Spring Training 2004 on an A.J. Burnett pitch. released from the Dodgers organization in late 2006, having never fully recovered from the wrist injury. Gillick immediately signed Werth and joined the Phillies as their fifth outfielder in 2007.
After 2007, Aaron Rowand left the Phillies for the San Francisco Giants, incumbent right fielder Shane Victorino took over center field for the Phillies. The Phillies signed left-handed Geoff Jenkins to pair with Werth in right field for 2008, and Werth ended up claiming the right field job for himself.
Werth was the Phillies starting right fielder in 2009 when the club went to the World Series and again in 2010 when the Phillies fell to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
Werth landed a seven-year, $126 million contract from the Washington Nationals. At the time, it seemed like a ridiculous overpay for a player who had not shown himself to be a superstar, although he was an All-Star and tremendous player. The move turned out to be a valuable signing for the Nationals.
Werth became a leader on a young Nationals ball club that included newly-drafted Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg and the talented Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman. Thanks to Werth's leadership, the Nationals went from the basement of the National League East to first place in Werth's second season with the Nationals in 2012.
All in all, the Nationals won four National League East titles in Werth's tenure with the club.
This offseason, Werth signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners. Werth batted just .206 with the Tacoma Rainers in 36 games before leaving June 8th's contest against the Nashville Sounds after just one at bat with an injury. Werth was placed on the disabled list June 9th and that would be it for the 39 year-old.
In 1583 major league games, Werth batted .267 with 229 home runs and 799 runs batted in. There is no word as to whether Werth will join the Phillies 2008 club festivities in August. Of the 2008 Phillies, only second baseman Chase Utley, reliever Ryan Madson and starter Cole Hamels remain active in the major leagues.
Notable players such as Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins all have yet to officially announce their retirements, but have ceased playing.