Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the Los Angeles Angels working out a team friendly contract extension with ace Jered Weaver was the fact that it would have had to go through super agent Scott Boras.
Boras is no sucker. He’s the furthest thing from it in the world of baseball. And he’s built a reputation out of countering the efforts of ownership to keep signing bonuses and free agent salaries manageable. Seldom does a Boras client agree to an extension when free agency is looming. To Boras, it’s the equivalent of leaving a multi-course dinner before the entree.
And that’s why it was so surprising to see Weaver agree to a five year, $85 million contract that bought out his final year of arbitration (2012) and his first FOUR years of free agency (2013 – 2016).
According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, Weaver went against the advice of his agent to reach an agreement with the Angels.
When the Angels approached him in July about an extension that will keep him in Anaheim through the 2016 season, Weaver said he was all ears. Boras, he said, wasn’t so supportive of what amounts to a hometown discount.
“Obviously, he wants to give you the best options and free agency can give you the best options,” Weaver said. “He would have liked to have seen me gone, but I told him I wanted to get something done and he was more than willing to work with me about it that way.”
According to Weaver:
If $85 million is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I’m pretty stupid, but how much money do you really need in life? I’ve never played this game for the money. I played it for the love and the competitive part of it. It just so happens that baseball’s going to be taking care of me for the rest of my life.
I realize that agreeing to $85 million in guaranteed money isn’t exactly going to inspire anyone to take a vow of poverty in order to pursue their dreams, but it’s still somewhat refreshing to find a professional athlete who places value on something above and beyond mere money.
Weaver also revealed that haggling over his original signing bonus with the Angels left an unwelcomed impression on him.
It was a rough time for me and my family, going through that process. I didn’t want to have that feeling ever again.
Let this be a lesson to aspiring GMs out there: Beat your draft picks down during signing bonus negotiations and you’ll reap the benefits with team friendly contracts later in their careers.