In an interview with ESPN980's The Sports Fix hosts Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan before the trade with Minnesota for center fielder Denard Span, Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson said he would take Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper atop the lineup over any other 1-2 punch in the game. "I really like Jayson Werth and [Harper] 1-2," the soon-to-turn-70-year-old skipper said, "I mean, they're not only run producers, but they got on base. They were outstanding at getting on base and both of them [are] outstanding base runners. I wouldn't trade those two guys for any [1-2] combination in baseball."

As the Nats' leadoff man, Werth (described by Johnson in an article by MASN's Dan Kolko as a 6'6" Donkey) had a .309/.388/.450 line with 13 doubles, a triple, 20 walks and 24 Ks in 38 games and 170 PAs. Leading off the game, Werth had a .235/.316/.294 line with a .340/.402/.526 line when he led off an inning. Batting 5th, where Werth has the most PAs in his career, the outfielder had a .275/.359/.435 line in 19 games and 78 PAs in 2012. Over 339 games and 1,398 plate appearances hitting fifth since he debuted with Toronto in September of 2002, Werth has a .280/.374/.509 line after ten major league seasons.

While Davey Johnson talked about Werth leading off, acknowledging at the time that there could be changes to the roster, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo talked in an MLB Network Radio interview in early November about where he thought the free agent he signed to a 7-year/$126M dollar deal in the winter of 2010 would ideally hit in the Nationals' lineup.