History suggests that players who lose arbitration hearings don’t stay with the teams that defeated them for long, but Jered Weaver has “no hard feelings” after a three-person panel sided with the Angels last week.
Weaver requested $8.8 million while the Angels countered at $7.365 million and the team came out on top after what Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports was a four-hour hearing.
However, the 28-year-old right-hander doesn’t sound very optimistic about the chances of a long-term contract extension:
From my understanding, talks never went anywhere. I’m open to it. I would love to play for the Angels for a long time. But I don’t want it hanging over my head for the season. Talks are done for now.
Weaver called the hearing “good” and “interesting” and “kind of fun in a way,” so presumably the Angels making a compelling case against his deserving the money he asked for won’t lead to any lingering resentment. At the same time, Weaver did say that “it was one of those things I wish I didn’t have to do, but the game has become very business-oriented and I found out business is business.”
Weaver, whose lack of run support led to a mediocre 13-12 record despite a 3.01 ERA and league-leading 233 strikeouts in 224 innings last season, will be arbitration eligible for the third and final time in 2012. His agent, Scott Boras, has tended to encourage star players to hit the open market as free agents.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.