The right fielder, who spent his last four seasons with the Fightin' Phils, refused arbitration this summer, and instead signed, a blockbuster seven-year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals.
In an interview afterward, Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro explained that he wished the Phillies could have kept Werth.
"I got a long text message from him [during the offseason] booing me, in classic Philly style. He was upset. But hey, that's how it works sometimes. Business is business. I think he was half kidding. I told him he could still have been on our club if he accepted arbitration."
Even though Werth signed with the Nats, he's still making headlines in Philly with his candid comments.
Last week at Washington's spring training camp, he tried to explain his side of the situation.
"It's really not up to me to say if [the Phillies'] offer was fair or not," Werth said. "I know it didn't really add up in the end. When you make it to free agency, you can look at it one of two ways. You can look at it as you're a member of the MLB Players Association or you can look at it as you play for a specific team. I was trying to maximize things."
Werth also believed that the Phillies could have kept him, while still being able to add Cliff Lee.
"I think if they would have played it right they would have had us both," he continued. "I mean, they traded Cliff away for prospects and then realized that was probably not what they should have done. They ended up paying him a lot more than they would have if they'd signed him the year before. Then we would have had him. Chances are if they had signed him before they traded him, it probably would have made it a little easier to sign me."
The fans in Philadelphia feel little remorse for the 31-year-old, who signed with a team that had a record of 69-93 last season, good for last place in the NL East. It certainly doesn't help that Lee turned down a significant deal with the New York Yankees to play with the contending Phillies for a multimillion dollar pay cut.
Werth continued making enemies in Philadelphia with his comments in the Washington Post on Saturday.
During batting practice on Saturday, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said, "I hate the [expletive] Phillies."
Werth echoed his sentiments.
"I hate the Phillies, too."
Despite the fact that Werth won a World Series with Philadelphia in 2008 and could be training with them in Clearwater right now, he chose a different route and is clearly bitter.
The Phillies and Nationals are set to play 18 games this season, the first of which will be on April 12. While Philly fans can be respectful of their former players and applaud their return, between turning down the Phillies and then expressing his hatred for the team, it isn't likely Werth will be cheered when he steps back onto the field at Citizens Bank Park.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP