Phillies sign OF Jayson Werth

As you've probably heard by now, the Phils have reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Jayson Werth. The 27 year-old righty was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles--under, say it with me, then-GM Pat Gillick--back in 1997. He's since matriculated through the Blue Jays and Dodgers organizations, and had 16 homers and 30 walks in just 290 at-bats for LA in 2004, putting up a .262/.338/.486 line while offering plus defense at all three outfield positions.

That, plus the fact that Werth is somewhat viable as a third catcher and could obviate the Phils ill-advised interest in Rod Barajas, the good news. Here's the bad: Werth's injury history, courtesy of

He's had plenty of injury problems: a strain in '03, an oblique strain, two cracked ribs, and a torn elbow ligament in '04, a broken wrist from an A.J. Burnett heater in '05, a sore knee that same year, wrist surgery that winter, and a second wrist surgery last August.  Whew.

This strikes me as a heady low-risk/high-reward pickup, if Werth is finally healthy after the wrist injury that ruined his 2005 campaign and kept him out for all of 2006. Big if.