I don't mean that in the "it was a terrible deal" sense. Of course it was, but it's not the terribleness that I'm wondering about. It's the sheer money and years put in. It could have been for an actual great player who was young and I'd still be confused. Why confused? Because that was a win now move and the Nats don't seem to be that kind of team, even when they could possibly... you know... win now.
Last week we found out that the Nats WAY underbid (or more likely - reasonably bid and the Marlins overbid but that's semantics) for Mark Buehrle. 3 years for 39 mill, vs the 4 years 58 mill he got. They underbid on years and dollars. Roy Oswalt is still out there but he wants a 3 years deal. Since he hasn't signed I'm assuming the Nats didn't offer him that 3rd year (or anything). BJ Upton is available - though the Rays have to be blown away. Since he's not a Nat now I'm assuming the Nats didn't blow anyone away. The Nats are playing it the same way they've always played it, except that one time. They are looking for fair deals, or maybe something slightly in their favor. Are they smart? Cautious? Cheap? Make your own judgement, but the one thing that remains - that Werth deal doesn't make any sense.
If they were playing to win sooner rather than later - then there is no reason not to overpay in a deal or a trade for a guy that'll help you win now. If they brought in Werth to lure in other free agents, shouldn't they have lured in some other decent free agents by now? Even just to validate the original deal? But no, right now nothing has happened, which makes that Werth deal look like a crazy aberration, only explained by the fact the Nats actually thought he was worth what they paid.
What was that about? A monentary lapse in judgement? A grasp for relevency in case the young players didn't pan out? Blackmail?