The top of this winter's free agent class is pretty clear, with Cliff Lee standing as the best available pitcher, and Carl Crawford standing as the best available position player. But looming just beneath Crawford is the 31-year-old Jayson Werth, and the outfielder is also looking to cash in on an impressive track record of performance.
Werth had the best offensive season of his career in 2010, and has batted .282 with the Phillies since 2007 with an .885 OPS. He's also demonstrated an ability to play every position in the outfield, and his broad array of talents comes together to make him one of the more valuable players in the game.
And Werth intends to get paid like it. According to the Boston Herald, Werth is looking to sign at least a six-year contract that would lock him up through 2016. Whether he actually gets that much has yet to be seen, but Werth and agent Scott Boras have set the bar high.
The teams who will get involved in the bidding for Werth are unclear, but the favorite right now is considered to be the Red Sox. They have both the money and the need, and on Wednesday general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona met with Werth and Boras at an airport. If the Angels end up signing Crawford, odds are very high that Werth ends up in Boston.