Commentary

Nationals should have kept Adam Dunn

This Werth deal makes very little sense, when you take projections into account

Originally Published: December 6, 2010
By Dan Szymborski | Special to ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesJayson Werth is headed down I-95 -- for a lot of dollar bills.

The Washington Nationals caused a lot of hearts to jump at the winter meetings, finalizing a seven-year, $126 million with Phillies rightfielder Jayson Werth.

This represents quite a shift for a franchise that wouldn't match a four-year, $56 million contract for Chicago-bound Adam Dunn. The titanic nature of this contract becomes apparent when you compare Werth's performance in recent years to Dunn.

Let's try to be as generous as possible to Werth and look at his last three seasons; those are the only three times in his career that he's received more than 400 plate appearances. From 2008-2010, Werth hit .279/.376/.513 with 87 HR, 251 RBI, and an OPS+ of .132. Over the same period of time, Dunn hit .255/.380/.526, with 116 HR, 308 RBI, and OPS+ of .138.

So what are the Nationals getting in return for the extra three years and $70 million that they're not getting for Dunn?