Over the weekend, Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim agreed to a contract that made the right handed hurler the seventh highest paid pitcher by average annual value in the history of baseball. The five year, $85 million contract buys out Weaver’s final year of arbitration (2012) and his first four years of free agency (2013 – 2016), an uncommon thing for a Scott Boras client to give up.
In terms of years and payout, the deal is most similar to what the Seattle Mariners are paying Felix Hernandez (five years at $78 million) and what the Detroit Tigers are paying Justin Verlander (five years at $80 million). However, both of those contracts bought out two years of arbitration and three of free agency, making this deal compare quite favourably for the Angels.
The extension looks even better for the team when you consider the recent contracts that Cliff Lee (five years at $120 million) and C.C. Sabathia (7 years at $161 million) landed via free agency, and what C.J. Wilson, a less proven pitcher than Weaver, is expected to get this offseason.
Then again, maybe Weaver and Boras know what they’re doing. Consider the 2013 free agent starting pitcher class, to which Weaver would’ve belonged had he not agreed to the contract: Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Matt Cain, Shaun Marcum, John Danks, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano. Still, Weaver should likely be considered near the top of that list, and it’s difficult to imagine him not landing more guaranteed money on the free agent market after the 2012 season.
According to wins above replacement, as measured by Baseball Reference, Jered Weaver ranks as the second most valuable pitcher only behind Justin Verlander this season. According to FanGraphs WAR, Weaver is the sixth most valuable.
He also has the second lowest earned run average in the league this year, and while that certainly is the benefit of a low BABIP and high strand rate, his pitching style matches well with the West Coast ballparks, as his home and away fielding independent pitching numbers (2.30 FIP at home vs. 3.29 FIP on the road) and ERA (1.49 ERA at home vs. 2.60 ERA on the road) suggest.
By signing such a team friendly deal, the California native is in many ways offering a hometown discount to the Angels, but it also makes sense from Weaver’s perspective because as his home and away splits prove, his love of California isn’t a one way street.
Introducing the new Jered Weaver theme song:
And The Rest
Jered Weaver wasn’t the only one signing a contract extension. Jose Tabata and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a deal that could keep the 23 year old with the team through to 2019.
Toronto Blue Jays left hander Luis Perez’s first Major League start was almost as perfect as his well-manicured eyebrows.
Is playing time important when it comes to evaluating a pitcher’s performance?
Brian Wilson is on the Disabled List with elbow discomfort, but it wasn’t an easy call for the San Francisco Giants to make.
When Ken Rosenthal thinks about the Milwaukee Brewers, his bow-tie lifts up and twirls, and he yells, “Aroooga!”
A crotchety old man gets crotchety and acts old.
New York Yankees starter A.J. Burnett and manager Joe Girardi had a mini-clash on the mound, which in New York translates into fourteen pages of coverage.
WAR Games for the Johan Santana trade that wasn’t.
FanGraphs takes the good with the bad when it comes to Jim Hendry’s legacy in Chicago.
Chipper Jones is going to do his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.
It’s a baseball fight from 1965.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jerome Williams won his first game in almost six years.
Beyond The Box Score introduces us to the 100 fewer hits club.
Jonny Gomes takes one for the team. Finally, this acquisition makes sense. There’s no way Mike Rizzo comprehends the compensations system.
It really takes a hell of an article to make Ned Colletti seem coherent.
Finally, it’s just a typical 8-8-8-4-3 triple play: