Jayson Werth was formally introduced as a member of the Washington Nationals in a press conference earlier this afternoon at Nationals Park. Werth discussed why he decided to sign with the Nationals, saying that he's excited to get started. He also said he thinks the Nationals are better than people think.
"One thing I saw ith the Nats playing vs. them was a grittiness they had and a will to win," Werth said. "Although they had rough seasons, they have some talent. It's very young and unpolished, but that's one thing I can help with."
Werth said he thinks the Nationals can "surprise a lot of people" this year and added that the ownership's commitment to winning was a big reason why he chose to sign with the Nationals.
"They're on board for winning. They're a winning family. Mr. Lerner shared a story of his successful life, and I'm sure they will do what they can to bring this team to the next level."
He also said the length of the contract was very important for him, as is the fact that he has a no-trade clause, a fact agent Scott Boras confirmed. Saying that he's never had a lot of security in his baseball life, Werth admitted the length of the deal drove him to Washington.
"One thing I was able to obtain was the length of the contract was very important. The one thing that was important was the length and the willingness of the owners to win. That's what drew me to Washington."
General manager Mike Rizzo said Werth is exactly the kind of guy the team has been trying to get, referring to Werth as a "skilled player that plays both sides of the ball." The latter may or may not have been a shot at departed free agent Adam Dunn.
Speaking of shots, Werth seemed like he has a chip on his shoulder after the Phillies didn't offer him a huge contract. When asked about his opinion of the Cliff Lee contract, he feigned ignorance. Though he said he had "nothing bad" to say about Philadelphia, his words don't exactly back that up.
"I've definitely moved on the past few months. I'm excited about being a Nationals. They got their boy back, I guess," he said, referring to Lee. ... " "They're going to make their plays, and we're going to make ours. Over time, people will see the Nationals are for real."
(Video via CSN Washington's live stream).