Jayson Werth recently retired from baseball, but he doesn’t sound very comfortable with his new reality.
Werth, who was one of a handful of veteran free agents that didn’t attract much interest last winter, appeared on 94 WIP sports radio early this week to discuss his situation. Without naming names, Werth put the blame squarely on his “former agent,” who allegedly told him to wait for a better offer — one that never materialized.
“I had offers in November,” Werth said according to the Washington Post‘s Chelsea Janes. “And I was advised by my former agent to wait. Ill-advised, I guess.”
“Spring training came and went, and about halfway through spring training, I felt like I had been working all winter, I was ready to play. So I took matters into my own hands and I called every team (but one), and tried to get a job,” Werth said. “The only team I didn’t call? The Mets. I wouldn’t play for them.”
Werth didn’t mention it on the radio, but he was formally represented by super agent Scott Boras, widely regarded as one of the most powerful agents in all of sports. Boras previously helped Werth secure a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals in late 2010. When that contract expired, Werth was 38-years-old and hoping to remain in The Show.
With no contract offers on the table, Werth eventually signed a minor league deal with the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. He played 36 games for them this summer before officially retiring from baseball.
“Some guys were surprised that I wanted to play, which was surprising because I wanted to play. I let my agent know that I wanted to play. They said they hadn’t heard from him, hadn’t heard from me, just didn’t know I was available,” Werth said. “That’s one of the reasons why I’m no longer with that agent.”
When these comments reached Boras, he (naturally) hit back at Werth, claiming he did everything possible to get his former client a job. According to Boras, it was a simple matter of no one wanting to pay Werth to continue playing baseball.
“Unfortunately, it appears someone has misled Jayson,” Boras said in a statement, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “We contacted all 30 teams numerous times during the offseason on his behalf, and we have phone logs, emails, and other records to back it up. We received no offers for Jayson in November, or otherwise. We are always prepared to support our work against inaccuracies spread by third parties. We understand the frustration and disappointment players can face and wish Jayson all the best.”
Werth retires after 15 seasons of big league ball, sporting a .267/.360/.455 line, with 229 career home runs and a total of 132 stolen bases. He made a single All-Star Team (in 2009) and helped the Phillies win a World Series in 2008.