Rarely does agent Scott Boras advise a star client nearing free agency to bypass the open market and sign a long-term extension, let alone a long-term extension for a surprisingly reasonable rate. The only difference with Jered Weaver is that he ignored Boras’ advice.
In yesterday’s press conference officially announcing his five-year, $85 million deal Weaver explained that his desire to remain with the Angels outweighed Boras’ assurances that he could get an even bigger deal as a free agent after next season. Or as Weaver put it: “How much money do you really need in life?”
Here’s what Weaver had to say about Boras:
Obviously, he wants to give you the best options and free agency can give you the best options. 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.
And the commission on an $85 million extension is still a pretty nice chunk of change.
Weaver noted that Boras’ contentious negotiations with the Angels on his behalf as a draft pick in 2005 “was a rough time for me and my family” and “I didn’t want to have that feeling ever again.”
Plus, as Weaver explained: “If $85 [million] is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I’m pretty stupid.”
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.
File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.
It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.
Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.
The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.
So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.