August 22, 2011
There's nothing like a rich new deal to brighten some of August doldrums and there was probably no team that needed the news more than the Los Angeles Angels. After a poor showing against the Texas Rangers during the first half of the week, the Halos closed solidly by locking up young ace Jered Weaver(notes) to a five-year, $85 million deal that precludes him from hitting free agency after the 2012 season.
The Angels also made up two games in the standings over the weekend by sweeping the lowly Baltimore Orioles, but the main story Monday morning was rightfully Weaver's new contract. In securing one of the game's best arms, the Angels have guaranteed that their rotation's top three — Weaver, Dan Haren(notes) and Ervin Santana(notes) — will be in place through 2013. They also ensured that they won't have to battle with a Scott Boras client in what would have been a very eager market for Weaver after next season. As with Felix Hernandez(notes) and Justin Verlander's(notes) previous free agency-avoiding deals, the man with a 14-6 record and 2.10 ERA is proving what a relative bargain $85 million can really be.
Let's see what some others are saying about the pact ...
Sam Miller, Orange County Register: "Weaver did something that Scott Boras' clients hardly ever do. He is dancing with the one that brung him — i.e., signing with his current team — and he is signing with the Angels, who have drawn swords with Boras since Mark Teixeira(notes) left the club to sign with the Yankees after the 2008 season."
Buster Olney, ESPN: "Weaver has stunned executives around baseball by agreeing to the Angels' offer, which will pay him $17 million a year. Weaver might have gotten a lot more money by playing this out, by waiting to become a free agent, but what he probably would have lost was the opportunity to continue playing for the team that inhabits a stadium about 30 minutes from where he grew up."
RevHaloFan, Halos Heaven: "This is a great day for JERED WEAVER ... He has job security, avoids a contentious offseason arbitration hearing, and is guaranteed five years of no-trade protection. Best of all, he can ignore the yapping narcissistic East Coast media deluding itself into assuming that good players immediately want to sign with teams located in the humidity-strangled urban hellholes left over from the horse and buggy stenched days of the early industrial revolution."
Joe Sheehan, Sports Illustrated: "By comparison, Weaver will make just a few dollars more on this deal than the Yankees' A.J. Burnett(notes) is making on a free-agent contract signed three seasons ago and substantially less than Cliff Lee(notes) will make on the Phillies' lefty's five-year deal signed this past offseason. The durable Weaver, who hasn't missed a start since 2008, seems an excellent bet to retain his skills and stay healthy throughout this five-year contract."
Jack Moore, Fangraphs: "Weaver is one of baseball's premiere mound talents, and holding that amount of talent in one roster spot without completely breaking the bank is a coup for Los Angeles of Anaheim. And, to go with the purely economic reasons to like this deal, it's always pleasant for the fans of a team to retain such a talent over a long period of time. The Angels and their fans should derive nothing but joy from this one, as the pairing of Weaver with co-ace Dan Haren should give the Angels a formidable pitching staff for years to come."