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.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.