Angels Ink Jered Weaver to Five-Year Deal

August 23, 2011

Anaheim, CA -- Outside their stadium and before a loud group of cheering fans, the Los Angeles Angels announced the signing of ace starting pitcher Jered Weaver to a five-year, $85 million contract that will keep him with the franchise through 2016.

The deal not only will benefit the team on the field, but also should help out owner Arte Moreno's pockets in the long run.

"The last thing you think when you go to sleep and the first thing you think about when you wake is the  starting rotation," said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.  "I'm certainly going to sleep a little easier."

In Weaver, the Angels essentially locked down a legitimate number one starter in his prime, without having to worry about him being over the hill during the back half of his relatively short contract.   More importantly, they arguably paid below market value for his services when compared to the seven-year, $161 million contract signed by Yankee ace CC Sabathia.

Weaver's game continues to show growth each year, as he is 14-6 and leads the American League with a 2.10 ERA.  Weaver also started for the AL in this year's All-Star Game.

"What you need in that rotation is that lead dog who every fifth day will set a tone," said Scioscia.

Many assumed that Weaver would have tested the waters when he became eligible for free agency, especially considering that his agent, Scott Boras, is a tough negotiator with a history of landing clients huge deals on the open market.

However, Weaver informed Boras that "money really wasn't an option for me. I wanted to be an Angel and stay in Southern California.  The client has the final say."

Weaver grew up a Dodgers fan in Ventura County, played his collegiate ball at Long Beach State, and was strongly motivated by his ties to the area and his franchise loyalty.

"You don't see guys stay with one team too often," said a happy and emotional Weaver.  "I grew up with that.  That's what I wanted with my career.  I wanted to stay home and stay local."

When pressed on whether he signed below market value, Weaver responded, "How much do you possibly need? Could have got more, who cares?"

In making his decision, Weaver acknowledged that he sought the advice of his older brother Jeff, who pitched last year for the Dodgers.  The elder Weaver experienced a rough patch in his career when he left the Detroit Tigers, signed as a free agent with the Yankees, and never quite met the lofty expectations hoisted upon him in the Bronx.

Perhaps by observing his brother's career path, Weaver realized that money was not the primary issue for him.  "If $85 (million) is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I'm pretty stupid."

Regardless of why Weaver signed, the end result is that GM Tony Reagins got himself a real bargain today.  By not having to sign Weaver for Sabathia-level dough, Reagins now has the added flexibility to tinker with the roster while not exponentially expanding the payroll.  This is especially important considering that Vernon Wells' multi-year balloon contract is looking worse all the time.

Too often the media and fans complain that money alone drives pro athletes and that loyalty is a thing of the past. Today, Jered Weaver disproved those stereotypes.  Refreshing.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

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