Werth will sign a minor league deal once he passes a physical in the coming days. He'll stay in extended spring training to get in shape.
PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners are giving another veteran outfielder to keep playing and try to show he can eventually help them this season.
Multiple sources confirmed that outfielder Jayson Werth has agreed to a minor league contract with the Mariners. The deal is contingent on Werth passing a physical. He will report to the team’s complex in Peoria and remain in extended spring training to get in playing shape. He’ll eventually join Class AAA Tacoma.
“Jerry (Dipoto) mentioned it me about a week ago,” manager Scott Servais said. “I don’t have any history with him. Obviously looking from afar, he’s been on a lot of winning teams and he knows how to play and controls the strikezone very well. He’s a good veteran presence in the clubhouse. He was looking for an opportunity to extend his career. Our group felt we had some opportunity and some at-bats at the Triple A level. He certainly hasn’t had any spring training. So he’ll stay down here a while to get some at-bats in extended spring training.”
Werth, 38, played 70 games with Washington Nationals in 2017. He hit .226 with a .715 on-base plus slugging percentage, 10 doubles, a triple, 10 homers, 29 RBIs and a -0.3 Fangraphs WAR. His days as an everyday outfielder seem behind. He’s dealt with injuries and lagging production. But after playing out a 7-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals, which includes $10.5 million on deferred money being paid to him in 2018, he’s not really doing this for a paycheck.
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When/if Werth joins Tacoma, the outfield will be pretty crowded with John Andreoli, Kirk Niewuinhuis, who was optioned out to minor league camp on Tuesday, Ian Miller, Andrew Aplin, a rehabbing Ben Gamel and more. There is a chance that Aplin or Miller will have to start the season at Class AA Arkansas.