Jered Weaver could have the top pitcher in this year’s free agent class, overtaking Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke. Instead, he’ll make $70 million over the next four years under the terms of the five-year, $85 million deal he signed with the Angels last August.
“I know people still talk about it, and how big some people still think it is,” Weaver told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. “But honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s tough for me saying the contract is a discount. Come on, it’s $85 million. It’s more money than I ever thought I would make in my life. I’m happy with my decision, and I can just concentrate on playing baseball, which is more important to me.
“I’m happy. My family is happy. The fans and my teammates are happy,” he says. “If we play like we’re capable of in the second half and win this whole thing, that’s all the happiness I need.”
Weaver, who turns 30 in October, is 10-1 with an AL-best 1.96 ERA this season. It’s questionable whether he’ll pitch 200 innings this year — he missed much of June with a back injury — but he averaged 224 innings per year from 2009-11. As long as he finished this season healthy, it’s pretty much a sure thing that he would have gotten over $20 million per year for six or seven years this winter. The cash-rich Dodgers could have even gone so far to give him CC Sabathia month ($161 million over seven years) to turn coat.
But Weaver will never know, and at least publicly, he says that’s the way he likes it.