Jeff Weaver Rumors
8:38pm: Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Weaver will "compete for a bullpen spot in spring training, NOT for the fifth spot in the rotation."
7:33pm: Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers have agreed to terms with Jeff Weaver on a minor league contract.
The deal comes with an invitation to spring training. Weaver, 32, will make $500,000 next season if he makes the club, but that seems like a longshot. He has struggled mightily since winning a World Series with the Cardinals in 2006 and finished last season with a 6.20 ERA.
Plus, he'll have to outpitch Jason Schmidt, Claudio Vargas, Eric Stults, Ramon Troncoso and Shawn Estes to win the fifth spot in the starting rotation. His willingness to work out of the bullpen might help, but there's also plenty of competition there.
Time to round 'em up.
- The A's are leading the charge for international free agent pitcher Michael Inoa; they could offer him $4MM. All teams have scouted him.
- MLB.com's Jim Molony names the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals, Angels, Mets, and Pirates as teams considering Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo (assuming he becomes a free agent).
- The Orioles would like to sign Ben Broussard, if he'll accept a minor league assignment. Broussard if mulling his options and should sign within 24 hours. He could step in if the Orioles trade Kevin Millar.
- Jeff Weaver has been released by the Brewers. Weaver's lost it; he has a 6.22 ERA in nine Triple A starts.
- The Twins have asked Juan Rincon to accept a minor league assignment. If he refuses, the Twins will be on the hook for his salary and he'll become a free agent. Rincon's last decent year was 2006.
- No team was willing to keep lefty reliever Erick Threets in the Majors. He cleared waivers and will head to Triple A as a member of the Giants organization.
- Andy Pettitte wouldn't commit, but admitted it'd be a "joy and an honor" to pitch at the new Yankee Stadium next year.
- Tigers backup catcher Vance Wilson may retire after a setback in his elbow recovery.
Here are a few random notes from the MLBiverse...
- Paul Hagen is reporting that the Mets are interested in acquiring a first baseman and/or a corner outfielder. Hagen says that Omar Minaya is rumored to be interested in Kevin Millar, Jason Bay and Xavier Nady. Hagen must share a source with Dan Graziano, who mentions the same trio. Might Aaron Heilman be used as bait?
- According to the minor league deal that Jeff Weaver signed with the Brewers, if he was not called up by this Sunday he could ask for his release. The Brewers and Weaver's agent, Scott Boras, have agreed to extend that deadline to June 15.
- Mark Mulder, who has made three starts since 2006, announced that he would retire if a third surgery became necessary on his ailing shoulder.
- The Royals snagged catcher Brayan Pena off waivers from the Braves.
- Rany Jazayerli proposes a Cubs-Royals trade.
- Joel Sherman wonders if the Yankees could buy out Jason Giambi for $5MM and then re-sign him.
Plenty of links for today.
- Indians top prospect Adam Miller is pretty much done for the season.
- '09 free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera and manager Ozzie Guillen are not getting along.
- Peter Bendix explains the savings the Reds get by waiting to promote Jay Bruce.
- Morgan Ensberg is a DFA candidate, while LaTroy Hawkins may be getting there.
- Bret Boone's comeback attempt has ended.
- Jeff Weaver (6.69 ERA in Triple A) can ask for his release if not called up by June 15th.
- Hank Blalock may not be in the Rangers' long-term plans.
- The Indians designated Jorge Julio for assignment.
Tom Haudricout of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Jeff Weaver has a 6.52 ERA in 29 innings in Triple-A Nashville and can ask for his release next Sunday if he doesn't see an opportunity with the Brewers as realistic. Weaver had no spring training, so he's still in rough form. Whether or not that form improves has yet to be determined. The Brewers currently have two struggling starters in Dave Bush and Seth McClung who just replaced Carlos Villanueva in the rotation.
In that same piece, we find that Derrick Turnbow has "suffered a near-total command meltdown" in Nashville. In 6 outings, he has pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, seven earned runs, and a jaw-dropping 15 walks! Still, there's no plans for his release. Writes Haudricourt,
"'As long as we're paying him what we're paying him, there's no sense in doing that,' [Brewers GM Doug] Melvin said. "It's not like he's taking somebody's job.'"
Turnbow is owed $3.2MM.
By Nat Boyle
Sounds like Scott Boras finally found a job for Jeff Weaver. According to Tom Haudricourt, Weaver signed an incentive-laden minor league deal with the Brewers. I never would've guessed it - the Brewers will already have an extra starter on their hands when Yovani Gallardo returns. Haudricourt has further details on Weaver's contract here.
It's a risk-free move by Doug Melvin, especially with Weaver willing to start at Triple A (as he should given the late start). Weaver, 31, posted an ugly 6.20 ERA last year in 27 starts for the Mariners. Perhaps between Mike Maddux's tutelage and a return to the NL, Weaver's career can be salvaged.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new Rumblings and Grumblings up; let's take a look.
- Stark surveyed execs from three teams about why Barry Bonds remains unemployed. They provided the answers you'd expect, and collusion isn't one of them. One of the team officials believes a major injury to one of the 14 DHs could very well result in a Bonds signing. Related note: Gary Sheffield just tore a tendon in his finger. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman speculates that Bonds would be a nice match with the Blue Jays.
- There are signs that Ryan Howard wants an unprecedented contract - he won't be using Miguel Cabrera as his model. A trade before he reaches free agency (after the 2010 season) seems likely.
- Stark says the Mets are eyeing Claudio Vargas but would want him to work at Triple A for a while first. They're not showing interest in available guys like David Wells, Jeff Weaver, or Robinson Tejeda. David Lennon of Newsday counters by saying the Mets do have interest in Tejeda, though nothing is close.
At the end of his most recent column Ken Rosenthal posits a nightmare scenario for the Angles, going back to 2001 when the Mariners cracked out to a 20-4 start to seize the AL West crown before May Day. With John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar on the shelf for at least 4-6 weeks, should the Angels be concerned going into 2008? Is a move to pick up an extra starter in order?
The team is looking at filling 14-16 starts. With a surplus of outfielders the Angels are certainly in position to make a move. They could opt for a back of rotation innings eater like the Brewers Chris Capuano or the Reds' Matt Belisle. Or, the team could really make a splash and dive head first into the Joe Blanton sweepstakes. David Bush might fill out the rotation nicely, through April and beyond.
Another possibility is a move toward the scrap heap, which got a slight upgrade this past week with the addition of Horacio Ramirez. Think Horacio might like a shot at the April 11 contest up at Safeco? How about reuniting brothers Jeff and Jared Weaver for one last sentimental run? And then there's always the possibility of getting Southern Cali comfort David Wells off the couch for a month or two of solid work.
The LA Times sees General Manager Tony Reagins looking in-house to try and bridge the gap. Lefty Joe Saunders and righty Ervin Santana become your No. 3 and 4 starters, and Dustin Moseley, who made eight starts for the team in 2007, becomes your No. 5. Pencil in young gun Nick Adenhart for an outside shot at getting some innings, if not as a starter possibly as a long-reliever.
Scott Boras found a deal for Kyle Lohse; will he now focus on getting Jeff Weaver a job? On Monday, Jeff's brother Jered said the Nationals and Cardinals had expressed interest. The Cards are surely out of the mix now, and MLB.com's Bill Ladson says Weaver has seemingly "priced himself out of the Nats' pay range." I'll guess the Nats were thinking $2MM or so.
So if the Nats and Cards are both out, what's the elder Weaver to do? Baltimore seems to be his best option. Toronto could work. Perhaps the Astros as a long shot.
In a note at the bottom of his article, Ladson also quashes a short-lived Felipe Lopez to the Cubs rumor. He adds that the Dodgers have legitimate interest in Willie Harris.
Whither Jeff Weaver? We haven't heard much about potential destinations for the 31 year-old righty. Probably has to do with his 6.20 ERA last year, but at least he's healthy.
Jeff's younger brother Jered piped up yesterday, saying that the Nationals and Cardinals have expressed interest. Hard to say if that interest is current or just occurred at some point this winter. But either team would do well to bring him in on a minor league deal. If he's holding out for a Major League contract it may be time to adjust expectations.
When teams have their rotations all lined up on paper during the spring, with their rose-colored glasses on, adding a guy like Weaver isn't terribly appealing. But perhaps this year Scott Boras will try a new ploy with Weaver and Kyle Lohse by letting them sit out until April or even May. We've seen the mercenary thing with Roger Clemens, but not so much with healthy, younger pitchers. A few starters get injured, others don't pan out, and suddenly maybe Lohse and Weaver cause bidding wars.