Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals made waves when they suddenly signed Jayson Werth to a seven-year contract. Werth was previously being most heavily pursued by the Red Sox and Tigers, and the Nationals came out of left field, blowing Werth away with an enormous offer.
According to general manager Mike Rizzo, the Nationals made a big splash on purpose to signal the beginning of "Phase Two". What is Phase Two?
Phase two, as Rizzo described, is one where the Nationals will look to become more aggressive in adding impact players in the trade and free agent markets, with their goal being to make a push to become more competitive and win the NL East.
The Nationals have been bad for a while, and previously weren't considered to be a very desirable destination. The Werth contract is a big one - almost certainly too big - but what it does do is show the rest of the league that the team is willing to make a commitment to winning. Signing Jayson Werth for seven years is an attention-grabber.