• MLB.com: Jim Riggleman on Jayson Werth Signing.
"[Jayson Werth's] just a really good athlete. And I think Mike [Rizzo] has kind of talked about that. It kind of slides off his tongue a little bit, but if you realize what Mike's saying, he says we're trying to get more athletic and I think when you put [Danny] Espinosa, [Ian] Desmond, [Ryan] Zimmerman...Pudge [Rodriguez] is an athlete behind the plate, Pudge is really a good athlete, Werth, Nyjer Morgan, these guys are athletes, and I think as we get away from the Steroid Era in baseball, athleticism in the field is going to play out and Jayson is a supreme athlete."
"Since he's been in Philadelphia he's been on the field. He's had two years in a row there where he's pretty much led that team in at bats and really picked that club up when a couple other guys were hurt. Their two big guys in the middle of the lineup, [Chase] Utley and [Ryan] Howard had some injuries and Jayson really picked up the slack there and it's a credit to Charlie [Manuel] and his staff how well they did without the two left-handed hitters, but you know, Jayson was a really big part of that."
"Mike [Rizzo] and I talked about Jayson...as soon as the upcoming free agent class gets mentioned, if you're on planes or stuff in June or July you're throwing names around, you hear some things like maybe this team isn't going to sign somebody. So we mentioned his name a lot, but really didn't have any concrete talks about him or anything like that, it was just Mike ended the season with the feeling that he wanted to add an outfielder and he really went after a big one and he got him."
• Winter Meetings Day One:
Twitter: @DrewStoren - "Fired up about Werth, he is going to be a great addition to our lineup. Definitely a guy who is going to help us get where we want to be."
MLB.com's Bill Ladson reiterated, in an article early this morning entitled, "Willingham on the block", that with the acquisition of another middle-of-the-order bat in 31-year-old Jayson Werth, outfielder Josh Willingham, the source of constant rumor talk in the last few weeks, is in fact still on the trading block. Mr. Ladson's "sources" actually, "...went so far as to say that every healthy player on the Nationals' roster, with the exception of Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, [is] being considered for trade discussions." Another source tells Mr. Ladson that the Nats are still in the market for a first baseman as the Winter Meetings actually begin again. Sources also tells him, "[Michael] Morse is not being considered to become the everyday first baseman," and Carlos Pena is still the Nats' top target.
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine, who's written extensively about the Chicago Cubs' search for a first baseman to replace Derrek Lee in Wrigley, noted yesterday in an article entitled, "Source: Cubs talked to Pads about Gonzalez", that after looking in on Adrian Gonzalez before he was officially traded to Boston, the Cubs have turned their attention to the Nats' top target to replace Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena. Mr. Levine spoke to Pena's agent Scott Boras in Orlando, Florida, and Mr. Boras said, "...he’s had conversations with the Cubs and numerous other teams about Pena’s availability as a free agent,":
"'He’s a Gold Glove caliber first baseman,' Boras said. 'He’s a guy that gives you power and run production."
"I asked Boras if he has had any recent conversations with the Cubs about Pena.
"'There’s a guy in Chicago [general manager Jim Hendry] that you should talk to about that,' Boras said."
Will the Nationals steal headlines for the second day and jump on the first baseman they reportedly want in Carlos Pena?
Twitter: ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick - (@jcrasnick): "Says Rizzo: "We've dealt with each other many, many times. I think we're comfortable with the character & integrity of each other ..."It's not always hugs & kisses, but we don't lie to each other. We shoot straight, & if there's a deal to be done, we usually get it done"