The Dodgers have re-signed Jeff Weaver to a minor league deal worth $800K plus up to $100K in incentives. The 33-year-old righty pitched to a 3.65 ERA in 79 innings for the Dodgers last year. He started seven games and finished five, serving as a swingman in Joe Torre's bullpen. Weaver paired a 3.8 BB/9 with a career high strikeout rate of 7.3 K/9.
We heard this weekend that Scott Boras was trying to find interest in Weaver. There wasn't much buzz around the sidearmer this offseason; the Dodgers were the only team linked to him.
Yahoo's Tim Brown first tweeted the agreement and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added the terms of the contract and tweeted when it became official.
Minor League deal? Come on back!
I dont know how much time he will get on this team… our pen is pretty set and he isnt a starter
He did well as the long man, I think he will be back in that role.
and then Weaver
True. Looking at the pen, id think that Elbert goes to AAA. Jmac in the pen and Haeger as the #5(or else we lose him)
Problem is Haeger, Stults, Monasterois and Zerpa all need spots or are lost… that’s what makes Weaver’s spot questionable. I’d rather go with Haeger for the #5 spot and then let the other 3 battle it out for the final bullpen spot.
Also consider Wade could always regain his ’08 form, Leach and Lindblom may be ready, in addition to Ely and Link (acquired for Pierre).
Not sure we need Weaver… but that being said, I like him. And on a minor league deal, he’ll at least have to compete for a job rather than having one guaranteed.
I think Elbert is almost certain to start the season in AAA though. McDonald has nothing left to prove down there, and has performed admirably out of the bullpen. Elbert still has control issues.
this dodger squad is looking deeper and deeper as we aproach the beginning of spring training, theres gonna be a lot of competition for roster spots and the bullpen is still the best in baseball and the dodgers have a few inexpensive trade chips to use before the trade deadline
Seems like quite a few teams this year are stacked, going in with the idea of just having players compete for spots.
Hey Kelvin Says
Wow, a Minor League deal. insane.
The Mets weren’t interested in him? Amazing.
Jeff Weaver is considered a sidearmer?
he was pretty affective last year when he went sidearm and he did it more and more throughout the yr…
Why do all Dodger fans act like Haeger is good?
why do you think he isnt?
Personally I don’t trust knuckleballers and I don’t think they are consistent. Haeger had two games and it showed that it was only a matter of time for the batters to get a hang of him. I think we need a good innings eater and I don’t believe that Haeger can make it passed 6 innings(IMO). What do you think?
I would perfer Eric Stults over Haeger for the fifth spot.
Stults has a change up and thats it. Haeger has a knuckleball, and, unlike most other knuckleballers, he also has a fastball, curve and a little bit of a change that are passable. Haeger is the better pitcher. Except for the couple starts a year where Stults looks great and goes 9 innings, he is a BOR starter and not much more. Haeger has a fairly good future in this game
Huh? Knuckleballers can thow 20 innings a day, every day. It puts little to no stress on the arm
And yes, after a while a guy will run into a knuckle ball. It is simply how the pitch moves. Sometimes it breaks more than other times. If it breaks less or in a different direction, it can go over the middle. And so can someone’s fastball, curve, change up, etc.
Consistent? Look at Tim Wakefield. He is in his mid 40s and is still pitching. He has been really effective for a good portion of his career.
I agree on Tim Wakefield but that’s one pitcher. There are several knuckleballers who haven’t made it due to their inconsistency. I agree Haeger has all the tools, but he still hasn’t used them to their full potential. The dodgers can’t base a starter on three games last year (one of witch wasn’t good). Haeger’s a good pitcher and I would love to see him develop into a great pitcher, but right now I believe we have to give the number five to someone else.
But it’s great having Stults, Haeger, J-Mac, Weaver, Elbert, etc. Competing for a #5. “Can’t never have too much good pitching”.
How can Haeger prove what he is unless he starts? His career MiLB ERA is 3.87. Knuckleballers can eat innings. What else do you want out of your 5th starter? An ERA under 4 who can eat innings, sign me up
Great knuckleballers can eat innings, not average knuckleballers. J-Mac also has great MiLB numbers but he also hasn’t had a huge chance. I believe that the Dodgers will use Haeger on special occasions just to throw a team off balance. We have a lot of talent competing for #5. We shouldn’t just throw Haeger just because he has a knuckle ball and had 3 games last year. I’m glad these guys are all been given a shot for number 5. Come Opening day, Joe Torre’s choice won’t be the wrong one.
The difference between Jmac and Haeger? Jmac has had a LOT of success in the pen, knuckleballers traditionally arent good out of the pen because knuckleballers are bound to have off games. You dont want to bring in a knuckleballer when you need one out, simply because the knuckler can miss and the ball will either get creamed or he will walk the guy.
No one has the 5th spot locked up. However, if Jmac, Haeger and Elbert all have similar springs, Haeger wins the 5th spot. Elbert goes back to AAA and Jmac to the pen.
The key phrase is good pitching, the above 5 listed guys are quanity not big on
quality. Maybe MacDonald improves he was rushed quickly to the Big club so that is possible.If Weaver keeps the balling moving in the strike zone he could have another decent year. Heager is already 27 years old, and he does not compare well to any of the knuckleballers like Charlie Hough, Wilbur Wood, OR Hoyt Wilhelm, or Tim Wakefield.
Stults and Elbert were once considered good prospects plus you have the guy from the White sox John Ely. The dodgers won 18 games last year with the 5 guys you mentioned. They will need the same type of production out of the 5 spot if they want to win the division.
Hough had been Haeger’s coach down in AAA and thinks highly of him… perhaps worth mentioning.
Stults was never considered a good prospect, always average at best. Elbert, sure, he was up there with Billingsley at one point, but he hasn’t demonstrated that he is ready for a spot in the major league rotation. He should be starting in AAA and working on his control, which is still poor. Ely doesn’t have to be on the major league roster (unlike Stults, Haeger, Monasterios and Zerpa), which makes it unlikely he makes the team out of Spring Training.
If the Dodgers don’t sign another pitcher, it’ll come down McDonald, Haeger, Stults or Monasterios in the #5 spot. Elbert would have to be dominant in the spring to be on the opening day roster.
Agreed. But that is the best Joe Torre has on the table. The Dodgers’ problem is not in the pen, it is in the rotation. All those names on the list have the potential to be a number 5 starter, but the point I was trying to make was that the Dodgers should not just pick a pitcher for the stats they had in just three games. In that case Billingsley will be in the pen with all those other guys. What I was trying to say was that I want to see what these players numbers are during spring training to make a thourough decision on who DESERVES the number 5 spot. I never said Haeger was a bad knuckleball pitcher. But IMO, like I mentioned in my above comment, I believe the Dodgers will use him here or there just to throw a team of balance for a game. And hey, if his numbers stay consistent, then lets have him as an everyday starter. What do you think?
I think Haeger has an advantage over McDonald, Elbert and Monasterios because he should be able to pitch much deeper into games. Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda and Padilla aren’t exactly innings eaters, probably averaging 6.1 IP/start between them. Torre also has a tendency to overuse the bullpen. McDonald and Elbert I’d expect to average maybe 5.0 IP/start. Monasterios I have no idea what do expect from, but I can’t imagine he’d be any better.
All of this makes me lean towards Haeger, who could provide more innings out of that #5 spot and save the bullpen a bit. Haeger would have no problem throwing complete games when his knuckleball is working. There will obviously be days when he’s blown out early, but then you could have McDonald (or Elbert, Weaver, Monasterios) step in. McDonald has shown he is much stronger out of the bullpen, while Haeger’s usefulness there would be very limited. McDonald is better suited for the bullpen, Haeger for the rotation.
Stults is the other option. Personally, I think the front office declined sending Stults to Japan precisely because they see him as insurance for the #5 spot. I think the competition will be between Stults and Haeger. Clearly, Haeger has more potential. To his credit, Stults is thrown a few complete games (I think two were shutouts?), but his ceiling is definitely limited. I do like him as a #5, but Haeger has more upside.
I love to watch Knuckle ball pitchers. It seems every generation has one good one. If Heager can help the club why not. Maybe a long Reliver spot Starter. If you think about it it is amazing the dodgers had all those wins last year with five different starters. Leach had a live arm when he got called up but was not ready. He could also be a sleeper.
No I dont think he is that good and I hope that he does not end up being the #5 starter.
Why do you think he is not good? He has everything that knuckleballers need to be successful, plus a fastball, curve and change. And he can eat innings like no other.
I saw plenty of Haeger in the White Sox orginization, he is very inconsistent. His other pitches are not ML quality, and his knuckler is usually not on.
That’s what knuckleballers are, inconsistent at times. It has to do with movement. And conditions. In Chi town, it is freakin cold. The WORST conditions to have a knuckler is in cold conditions, with wind, and a hitters park. We have none of those in LA. Hell, in the winter, it’s 65 degrees. If there is a place for him to succede, and he showed a little in the few shots he got, it is LA
He didn’t pitch in January! He had a number of July appearances, ever been to Chicago in July? It’s as hot and more humid than LA.
It is not good business to keep a guy on your roster just so you do not lose him. You put the best guy in 5th spot who gives you a chance of winning. If four pitchers are lost because they are out of minor league options so be it. They are not good enough to be on a major league roster. If Ely is the best of the bunch you should not send him down because he has options. The name of the game in the major leagues is winning, it is not the place to develop a player.You want to win the division again then you need some way to get 20 wins out of the 5th spot.The dodgers have the players in place to compete for a championship now so it should be cut and dry. A team like the Pirates or the Padres can take more risks with guys but this is the dodgers window to win a championship you want to go for it .
Yes and no. It isn’t so black and white either way. You have to manage risks.
For example, you don’t drop a player your scouts feel could be a future front-of-rotation starter because he is struggling in Spring Training simply to to make room for an average #5 guy who has options.
Obviously an extreme example, and Haeger, Stults, Monasterios, Ely, and McDonald probably don’t have a much higher ceiling than a #3 or #4 (in my opinion). Elbert’s potential may be higher, but he’s still quite far from reaching it.
But you have to trust your scouts in making these decisions. If Logan White sees significant potential in Monasterios or Zerpa, but their spring numbers are less than impressive, you may want to give them a bit more time by leaving them on the opening day roster and giving them a chance to adjust. The Dodgers bullpen is strong enough that they could afford to carry one of these guys and have someone like, say, Troncoso (who had an awful 2nd half) start the season in AAA.
Spring Training numbers aren’t everything. Haeger has proven more in the minors than Ely has. Stults has had some success in the majors. Obviously Stults doesn’t have much upside, but he is good insurance. He’d be a decent #5 starter on a lot of teams. You don’t drop either just because someone like Ely has a strong spring. Let Ely prove himself in AA/AAA for a bit, give Haeger and Stults a longer look. If Ely is completely dominant by May and Haeger and Stults are being shelled, then you make a move.
The Dodgers will need to get more out of Billingsley and Kuroda this season to succeed, as well as further development from Kershaw. They can’t count on reproducing the luck they had from the #5 spot last season. 20 wins from the #5 spot is an unrealistic expectation. No combination of Stults, Haeger, McDonald, Elbert or Monasterios is likely to give them that.
Trancoso in the minors? Are you crazy? He is that ground ball pitcher you need to get out of jams. He also was near the top of the majors in innings pitched.. maybe thats why his 2nd half wasnt as strong as his 1st half.
Ely needs more time in the minors. He isnt ready.
Stults has little potential to be anything more than a 3 guy(if EVERYTHING goes right).
McDonald will probably be a 3 starter long term, or a very good pen arm.
Haeger will also be a #3.
There isnt a question who has more potential… in order, it is Elbert(probably deserves time in AAA) and then Haeger and McDonald then Stults. I dont know enough about Ely to give an honest projection. Id guess he would be in the Haeger/McDonald group.
Given that they all have similar potentials(after Elbert), whats the point of losing Haeger for nothing while we could easily have him be the #5, McDonald be in the pen(where he was great) and Elbert in AAA? Lets put it this way. You give Haeger a shot and he does great. Now you have a knuckleballer in your rotation who you control for almost 6 seasons. If he struggles, you send him to the minors. If he is THAT bad, then you put it to fate. If a team wants him, they get him. But to lose a guy who will give you similar production AND more innings just because you dont want to send a guy with options to the minors, or a guy to the pen, is naive.
If you want to win a championship you go for it now.This team gets disbanded in a few years or less and it could be another 20 years or more until you have a shot at the playoffs again. That is just the way it is in baseball. The Yankees are the greatest orginization in baseball and they have had lean decades. This is my opinion of course and different teams have different reasons for doing things . As far as pitching more in the minors that means to me he can not make it in the majors. If a guy has the goods he will get rushed to the big leagues in this generation of baseball. Example both Kershaw and MacDonald were rushed to the majors and probably could have used a bit more seasoning in the minors.They have talent and they are not making hugh money. Billingsley was brought up at a young age. Again he had the goods. Maybe this is the year that Billingsley gets that 20 win season, MacDonald becomes a solid starter and the dodgers go all the way. You have to have these type of team dynamics for it to happen.
because he pitched 3 games and 2 out of the 3 were great and even the one he did poorly in wasn’t terrible. He is a solid pitcher who can eat innings and is durable due to his knuckleball. I think he has a good shot at the 5 spot although i hope J Mac gets it… but still in his first game with us he did great and only messed up on 2 at bats in the 7th. other than that he had been amazing in that outing.
Jeff Weaver did well in the long spot, he will return there this season, this is a good signing, good experiance and a former world champ with the cards, he is a inning eater and can probly make it a six amn rotation once in awhile.
Are the Mets asleep or what!?
The jury is still out of Heager. He has a great track record, but has never been regarded as a top prospect, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Dodger staff right now:
McDonald/Elbert/Wade/Miller/Weaver/any random NRI or Rule 5 guy.*
*If DeWitt makes the team, that means the Dodgers pretty much have to carry 6 bench players, so only an 11 man staff. If not, then a 5 man bench and 12 man staff.
No respect, I tell ya…
Blast him all you want, but Weaver did more than an admirable job, in that role. The fact that he’s only getting 800k on a MiLB deal can be directly attributed to the Boras factor.
Nice. Weaver helps. I’d put Heager in the 5 spot til he proves otherwise. Knuckleballers have problems out of the pen. Charlie Hough was an exception.
Saw enough of Heager with the White Sox. Knuckler is very inconsistent, and secondary pitches are not ML quality.
I would be highly disappointed if Mcdonald was set up in the #5 spot. I think he is still too young and inconsistent. I do believe he can develop into a dominating pitcher but he is still not ready to be a starter. He still needs long relief work.
Weaver will be what you consider the #6 spot starter. He wants to be a Dodger and win it all. He will be in the bullpen along with Mcdonald which means Troconso is down to AAA he needs to go I’m sorry. I find him as the weakest point of the bullpen right now.
Haeger SHOULD BE the #5 starter over whom I presume they may try Mcdonald first. That is what the battle will be. I personally believe Haeger is more mature and ready to develop his knuckleball. He has shown that he can pitch easily with the knuckleball as long as he stays consistent. And trust me. If he gets enough starts he can set the tempo to such a dull rate for the other team on most games. The kunckleball is personally one of my favorite pitches and I think Haeger needs more starts. Put ’em in there Joe.
Outlook for the Mets: “Fogg”y indeed………………….
I know the Mets need innings guy(s), but Josh Fogg is really almost the lowest of the low………….. the bottom of the SP barrel? Looking at what is left, I don’t see much help that can make a difference for them pitching-wise in the FA field.
I don’t understand why the Mets let a 1B guy with some acutal upside and chance for rebound/improvement in Garko go sign with the Mariners for peanuts? Instead they go with Tatis?
As a Cardinals fan, I’d like to get Branyan back……………. I’m not sure why the Mets aren’t in on him or seemingly anyone else for that matter? I know why people are shying away from giving Branyan any substantial commitment, but it seemed like Seattle figured out that the way to max his productivity last year was to platoon him. He did put up his numbers in Safeco, so that has to count somewhat towards his value?
I’d love to see a Branyan/Freese comp. at 3rd this year.
Not that i necessarily agree, but Tatis plays more positions. And Fogg is not starting…. bash the mets some more for what you do not know.
Not the right post for this, but I like the Branyan idea for real cheap, but I don’t believe that at 34, with a bad back, that he should be playing too much 3B anymore.
Oh how the mighty fall. Jeff Weaver was at the top of his game in 2006 when he was with the Cards. And then he chased the money, leaving the Cards. Result? What you see here-a minor league deal. Only two words kept his career alive, and he abandoned them long ago: DAVE DUNCAN.