Extension (Or Trade?) Candidate: Jered Weaver

After allowing two earned runs in seven innings against the White Sox tonight, Jered Weaver's ERA ballooned all the way up to…1.30, in four starts.  After a big 2010 season in which he led the majors in strikeouts, it's safe to designate Weaver as one of baseball's best young aces.  As Weaver's agent Scott Boras no doubt would argue, all that remains is for Weaver to be paid like an ace.

Weaver will make $7.365MM this season after losing an arbitration case last winter and his bid for an $8.8MM salary.  This result apparently caused no hard feelings between the two sides, as Weaver expressed interest in signing a long-term deal with the Angels.  The subject was broached during the offseason but talks apparently went nowhere, though there's plenty of time to continue negotiations since Weaver is under team control through 2012.

Weaver will have over five years of service time after this season, and presuming he at least matches his 2010 performance, Boras will no doubt shoot for an extension matching or surpassing the biggest deals handed out to pitchers with 5+ years of service time.  Jake Peavy is the current holder of this title thanks to the three-year, $52MM extension he signed with the Padres in 2007 that covered the 2010-12 seasons, and also gave Peavy a $22MM option for 2013 (with a $4MM buyout). 

That deal is a bit unusual, though, since it was an extension signed when Peavy still has two more years remaining on a previous extension with San Diego.  Perhaps a better comparison is the five-year, $73MM deal that Roy Oswalt signed with the Astros that locked him up from 2007 through 2011.  This contract (which contains a $16MM club option for 2012 that can be bought out for $2MM) was signed during Oswalt's age-28 season, and a Weaver extension would fall at the same point in his career. 

Since Weaver has yet to hit the five-season mark, let's compare the two right-handers through the first 4+ seasons of their careers.  For good measure, let's throw in another pitcher who signed an extension this winter: Houston's Wandy Rodriguez.

Weaver: 64 wins, 3.55 ERA, 144 starts, 896 IP, 779 strikeouts, 3.09 K/BB rate, 1.20 WHIP, 7.8 K/9

Oswalt: 83 wins, 3.07 ERA, 145 starts (155 games overall), 980 2/3 IP, 850 strikeouts, 3.78 K/BB rate, 1.18 WHIP, 7.8 K/9

Rodriguez: 51 wins, 4.33 ERA, 135 starts (144 games overall), 790 IP, 660 strikeouts, 2.32 K/BB rate, 1.37 WHIP, 7.5 K/9

Oswalt has the edge, and he was also in the midst of a fantastic 2006 when he signed his extension in August of that year.  Weaver, therefore, won't be able to catch Oswalt in overall numbers even if he keeps up his impressive early-season form.  Weaver's numbers, however, are clearly superior to those of Rodriguez through 4+ years.  Rodriguez delivered a very good 2010 campaign that led to a three-year, $34MM deal from the Astros that covered his final arbitration year and his first two free agent years (plus a vesting option that could pay him $10.5MM in 2014).

So, logically, a fair extension for Weaver would be a deal that pays him closer to Oswalt's $14.6MM average annual value than Rodriguez's $11.33MM average annual value, perhaps something in the neighborhood of $13.5MM per season.  In terms of length, probably a three-year contract is the most reasonable given the history of Boras clients testing the free agent market.  Weaver would still be able to hit free agency at age 32 and get another nice contract if he continues to pitch well past his prime years.

But, let's look at the elephant in the room — whether or not Weaver will indeed choose to remain an Angel.  Weaver will turn 30 years old in October 2012, still in his prime and able to command a huge free agent deal if he pitches well over the next two years.  Durability doesn't appear to be an issue for Weaver, so there isn't any unusual risk he'd be taking by not signing an extension, especially since he looks to be in line for an eight-figure salary next season either through arbitration or just a one-year deal from the Halos.

There's also the X-factor of the relationship between Boras and the Angels organization.  Owner Arte Moreno is no fan of the agent, dating back to the Mark Teixeira negotiations during the 2008-09 offseason.  Though Moreno has said that he will leave dealings with Boras to GM Tony Reagins and other club personnel, no Boras client has signed with the Angels since 2008, as MLBTR's Transaction Tracker indicates.

If Los Angeles can't come to a long-term agreement with Weaver by next offseason, the club could consider selling high on its young ace and trying to deal him.  Such a move wouldn't be popular with fans, but the Halos could potentially net a nice package of either short-term Major League help if they feel their current nucleus has another run in them for 2012, or perhaps for prospects to fuel the next great (Mike Trout-led) Angels team. 

There would be no shortage of interest in Weaver on the trade market.  To cite the most obvious candidate, there's a certain pinstriped team from the Big Apple that is in need of starting pitching and has no problems dealing with Scott Boras.  Apart from the Yankees, one could imagine the Nationals, Rangers (though L.A. probably wouldn't move their ace to a division rival) or even the Cubs having both the interest and the resources to acquire Weaver and give him the extension that would probably be required in such a trade.

The numbers are there for a fair extension between Weaver and the Angels, and the right-hander has himself expressed an interest in remaining with the team.  A number of obstacles, however, seem to be standing between Weaver remaining an Angel past (or even though) the 2012 season. 

43 Responses to Extension (Or Trade?) Candidate: Jered Weaver Leave a Reply

  1. raygunpunx 4 years ago

    Queue the anti Yankee talk

  2. Um…Wandy is not a right-hander…

  3. halored101 4 years ago

    They’re not trading Weaver, get over it, they have a year left and a solid opportunity to sign him with so much payroll shedding and his ace like position. New york media and fans can stow it, he’s not gonna be a yankee…

    • phoenix2042 4 years ago

      If he hits the free market, the yanks will put top dollar into signing him. Of course, as cliff Lee shows, that isn’t always the driving factor. Personally, even though I wanted my team to get Lee or to get Weaver, I can totally get behind going to (or staying with) the team you really want to play for. For players like Lee or Weaver, they are going to get their $100+ million contracts, so it’s just a matter of which city you want to spend 5-7 years living in and which cap you want to don each morning.

      • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

        It’s all about the money. If it wasn’t, everyone would be lining up to play for the Padres!

        • Amish_willy 4 years ago

          Just a tad reach. Your point could be true for pitchers, but if you’re an offensive stud going to a place that limits homerun’s by 40% wouldn’t top the list, no matter how pleasent the weather and scenery!

  4. Ed Pickett 4 years ago

    So Cal Kid should stay in So Cal, lets get it done Arte, over pay if you have too

  5. phoenix2042 4 years ago

    maybe they should have factored in the cost of a Weaver extension before trading for Wells…

    • Nick Sossamon 4 years ago

      When Weaver becomes a FA there’s only two years left on the Wells deal, hardly something to handicap Moreno into signing a deal. There is currently under $50MM aloccated past 2012 right now as well. I doubt Weaver extends with the Angels though, you usually don’t sign with Boras to get a decent extension with your current team. The only time it’s happened is to buy out arbitration years for younger players to offer security (like the CarGo deal).

      With the way the Yankee pitching staff is looking, Weaver looks primed to cash in with them if he wants to go there. The Angels won’t match their deal in terms of years or dollars since Arte seems to be some kind of stickler for avoiding long-term obligations. He’d much rather overpay for mediocre talent past their prime or stock up on bullpen arms.

      • Amish_willy 4 years ago

        Anyone who committs 225m to Gary Matthews Jr., Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells probably shouldn’t be labeled as being a stickler for long-term obligations. Need an Angels Historian to point out the biggest contract the team has given to a pitcher, is the 4/51m given to Bartolo Colon in ’03 the largest?

        Not sure why the Angels wouldn’t have given Weaver a long-term deal before this season, maybe they tried but were rebuffed by Weaver and Boras. It’s too bad for them as arms like Zach Grienke and Josh Johnson signed for 4/38m when they were in the same spot Weaver was in coming into 2011, service time wise. I’m guessing they probably would have paid a little more for those same years, but that’s not Boras’ thing. Giving 100m to any pitcher isn’t a high odd’s bet, the team could very well cash in Weaver after the year and take their chances on the prospects and using the money elsewhere. Kind of a tough spot they find themselves in.

        Now if they could sign him to an Oswalt-esq deal starting next year then I’m sure the team would jump at it. Far from a given though. From a pure madness standpoint, Weaver has two more great years before becoming a free agent and he’ll shoot past the 100m mark. With his big bump in k-rate in 2010 keeping that up will be one of the caveats making that possible. Could see the Nats giving him 120m+ to boost the organization at a time that they could be ready to take-off.

        If I was a pitcher, I wouldn’t have the brass to wait till FA, not with how many guys have ill-timed injuries that last entire seasons or more. I’d take the mid ground. Of course with Satan promising that you’ll be healthy and pitch 440 innings these next two years, it’s easy to understand the lure in waiting. Pretty risky though.

  6. rzepczynski 4 years ago

    wow yankee fans im impressed…. i expected more clowns to be here trying to trade scrubs for weaver and trout

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Nova, Nunez, Betances, and Brackman should get it done for Weaver and Trout. Yankees may have to toss in Gardner, but maybe not.

  7. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I don’t see how you could trade a guy like this at age 28. Sure he is going to command a lot but Angels don’t run on a small budget..

    How do you explain to your fan base that you wouldn’t commit 100 million to one of the best pitchers in baseball but are willing to commit 80 Million to Wells.

    He should have already been inked to 4 or 5 more years.

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

      That’s what I was thinking. Hard to see them letting him walk after the disappointing off season. And I don’t know if next year’s FA are worthy of making a big splash, besides the obvious first baseman. At this point, Arte has to pony up the $ to meet Boras’ demands, because if Weaver hits free agency, his price will sky rocket.

    • TheHotCorner 4 years ago

      Everyone is a trade candidate for the right price. You get the right price and the fan base should be fine. With that being said I don’t see anyone offering enough to make the trade.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        yes everyone is available for the right price..

        but where are the angels going to fill their top of the rotation needs?

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago


        • TheHotCorner 4 years ago

          That is why I said I don’t see him leaving. Someone would have to include (along with other pieces) a AAA prospect that is viewed as a #1.

      • phoenix2042 4 years ago

        Let the ludicrous talk of “montero+banuelos+betances+brackman+nova+gardner” begin!

  8. Cubbie 4 years ago

    Weaver should go to the cubs

  9. Re-signing Weaver won’t be easy. He should have been taken higher in the 2004 draft but most teams shied away due to his/Boras contract demands. Weaver almost re-entered the draft, but was signed close to the deadline almost a year after the draft. There is no doubt that Weaver is on the short list of aces in MLB, but I don’t see the Angels trading him unless a) there is zero hope of a contract extension or b) the Angels are in last place at the trading deadline in 2012. If a contract extension hasn’t been agreed to and the Angels are in contention in 2012, they’ll keep him and take a crack at re-signing him in the free agent market. However, Weaver is from SoCal, went to school down the road in Long Beach, and Boras has season seats in Anaheim. Maybe Arte should send over a peace offering in the form of a pretzel and get this contract signed now. As long as he doesn’t marry a New Englander (see Lackey, John), he should be an Angel for many more years.

    • Angels are better off without Lackey.

      • I agree, but it was a bummer to see him leave the Halos for the Red Sox at the time.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        how do you figure?

        • vtadave 4 years ago

          He probably “figures” after watching Lackey pitch.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            maybe. but i prefer not to presume someone is that dumb right out of the gate

  10. Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

    I got it.

    Juan Rivera, Jason Frasor, Edwin Encarnation for Jered Weaver, Jordan Walden and 80 Million.

  11. bjsguess 4 years ago

    As an Angels fan …

    If Weaver can be signed to a 3-4 year deal at under $15m/year then you have to jump on that. If he is determined to go to FA then he has to be traded.

    The team needs to focus on making smart moves. If the price to signing Weaver long-term is similar to what you would pay on the FA market then he should be gone. Take from some farm system and let someone else pay through the nose for Weaver. If the Angels are playing under 500 ball THIS YEAR, I would move Weaver and Haren and anyone else that I can that is not under less than 3 years of service time.

    As a fan I want my team to be competitive (i.e. a playoff team) in both the short AND long term. If the team is not playoff caliber now they should be doing everything in the their power to retool and gear up for next year and beyond. As an example, if they are an 80 win team as currently composed, I would rather them become a 70 win team and dump Weaver, Haren, Hunter, and Abreu. You save a TON of money but more importantly the haul that you would get from that collection of players would be massive. The team would be stocked to be competitive in 2012 and beyond.

    Now this assumes that Tony can work some magic in securing prospects but Haren and Weaver should both command multiple “A” prospects. Hunter and Abreu bring you less but still provide value … especially to a playoff bound team.

    • cookmeister 4 years ago

      i thought you were done being an Angels fan after the Wells trade?

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        Why would he be? Wells has a .307 OP-freaking-S.

  12. Dodgerblue18 4 years ago

    Is trading one of the best pitchers in baseball a good idea to begin with?

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      If your hand is forced and you can get a king’s ransom in return, then yeah, maybe so.

  13. DownTheygo1x1 4 years ago

    Tony Reagins huffs and puffs and…. CHOKE!!!

  14. halored101 4 years ago

    That would be disgusting to see the quint essential so cal ball player in drab pin stripes under the scummy New York media and fans, not happening…

  15. rzepczynski 4 years ago

    ya think?

  16. MaineSox 4 years ago

    5 > 3. Jus sayin’

  17. LifeLongYankeeFan 4 years ago

    Whats your problem not all Yankee fans are scummy I am actually a fan of baseball alltogether. Just because one persons comment gets your panties in a bunch doesn’t mean you have to bash and spit on an entire teams fanbase. Your owner couldn’t sign one of Crawford, Beltre or Soriano when the whole baseball world said the Angels may sign all 3 of them so what makes you so sure that the Angels will resign Weaver.

  18. Nick Sossamon 4 years ago

    There’s a difference between “couldn’t sign” and “won’t sign for a ridiculous amount for good yet not elite players in a shallow FA market”. Crawford and Beltre are what’s called “overpaid”, you should know all about that as a Yankee fan. And teams other than the Yanks can’t just shell out an endless amount of cashflow at any fancy thing that catches their eye, like a $30MM+ contract for a setup man.

    But then again they traded for Vernon Wells, pretty much destroying all of my credibility. Dammit Angels.

  19. yeah those non signings look terrible right now huh? First place son!

  20. LifeLongYankeeFan 4 years ago

    Beltre is definitely overpaid especially since he only plays at an elite level in the last year of his contracts and Soriano has an opt out clause after his first and second season so it may not end up costing the Yankees 30+mm and I still don’t get why the Yankees put those opt out clauses in the contract especially when they had no real competition to match their offer. Sabathia I understand that because they might not have signed him in the first place without it and I hope to god it doesn’t end up biting us in the bum and there is one team besides us that can shell out endless money for someone and they’re that 2-10 team that are the favorites to win the World Series in many peoples eyes.

  21. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    You’re right. We’re not the only ones having pitching problems right now. Not to mention, Boston has a lot of cash coming off the books soon, despite the Crawford and AGon deals. If he hits free agency, he will get PAID from someone.

  22. dc21892 4 years ago

    Unless Boston can shed any of Dice-K, Lackey or Becketts contract, it doesn’t matter if they have money coming off the books. It won’t be used for a SP unless they can move one of those three.

  23. LifeLongYankeeFan 4 years ago

    We’re just the only ones who espn seems to mention having pitching problems though. I do think we’re gonna have to trade for someone come the trading deadline though just don’t know who will be available. I guess a positive on CC is he says he loves being a Yankee and can’t see himself pitching anywhere else he said that a few weeks ago I believe.

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