Zack Greinke’s new six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers got me wondering just how much money Jered Weaver gave up by signing an extension with the Angels rather than hitting the open market alongside Greinke this offseason.
Weaver agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract in August of 2011, which bought out his final season of arbitration eligibility and first four seasons of free agency.
At the time everyone–even Weaver, seemingly–agreed that he had left a considerable amount of money on the table, but his basic point was that staying with the Angels was very important to him and … well, $85 million is still a whole lot of money. Now that Greinke has signed we can get a clearer picture of just how much money Weaver left on that table.
Greinke is 29 years old with a 3.77 ERA in 1,492 career innings, including a 3.83 ERA in 604 innings during the past three seasons. Weaver is 30 years old with a 3.24 ERA in 1,320 career innings, including a 2.73 ERA in 649 innings during the past three seasons.
It seems hard to argue that Weaver isn’t as good as Greinke and there’s certainly an argument to be made that he’s better. And yet Greinke will be getting $147 million over the next six seasons while Weaver will be paid $70 million over the next four seasons. If healthy Weaver will close some of that gap with his next contract that covers Season 6 and Season 7, but it sure looks like he cost himself at least $40-$50 million by not testing free agency.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.