Worst Player of 2007 (so far)
Given my article about the Weavers last year (O Brother, Where Art Thou), some of you are going to think I don’t like Jeff Weaver. Well, truth be told, I am still pretty ticked off at him for being so terrible last year. When pitching for the Angels, he was utterly putrid, killing my fantasy baseball team’s ERA and Whip before I dumped him in April. Then he turns around and pitches fairly well for the Cardinals down the stretch and in the post season. Because he was mediocre in the last half of the year and good in the playoffs, the idiotic Seattle Mariners GM Bill Bavasi signed him to an $8.3 Million dollar one year contract. If you are getting Déjà vu about that amount, it’s because that’s what he earned in 2006 from the Angels last year. I guess the performance expected from pitchers is pretty low for your $8.3 Mil.
I don’t know how much baseball GM’s get paid, but how does Bavasi have a job after making stupid decisions like this? Weaver obviously can’t hack it in the hitter rich AL. Throwing this kind of money after spares like this is not only stupid, it’s criminal. I am going to have to include major league teams in my job search. Surely they could use a consultant to advise them on stupid decisions like these. If asked about Weaver in the off season, all I would have had to say was “Look at the video from all of Weaver’s Angels starts last year. If you get all the way through them and you still want him, go ahead. If you throw up, you can thank me later for saving you $8.3 Million.”
How bad was Weaver last year with the Angels and this year with the Mariners? Let’s put some numbers to my ramblings, shall we?
Jeff Weaver Over the Past 2 Years
ERA W-L WHIP IP Games HR
2006 with Angels 6.29 3-10 1.52 88.2 16 16
2006 with Cardinals 5.18 5-4 1.5 83.1 15 18
Combined 2006 5.76 8-14 1.51 172 31 34
Post Season 2006 2.43 3-2 1.15 29.2 5 3
2007 with Mariners 14.32 0-6 2.59 22 6 4
After the 2006 season, how many pitchers with an ERA of 5.76, who give up a home run per start are rewarded with an $8.3 Million contract? I can only think of one. His 3 wins in the post season probably earned him 90% of his 2007 contract. Even though his numbers improved, he was hardly overpowering. In 2007 he has managed to bring down the number of HR’s allowed, but a 14.32 ERA, 2.59 WHIP and 0-6 is one of the worst starts in baseball history. Right now his BAA (batting average against) is .429 – said another way, he makes the average player into Ty Cobb or Rogers Hornsby (Ted Williams never hit that high). To use my favorite quote from Dave Schmotzer, my Assistant Baseball coach at TCU – “If we had 25 guys like him…………. We’d be oh and 25.”
The other funny thing was that the Mariners didn’t remove him from the rotation until this week. How long did he have to kill them before they figured that out? The next step is to release him like the Angels did last year because they can’t send him to the minors. He’s kind of an expensive mop-up reliever, but that’s his role for now. His 2007 season has been a model of consistency. He has lost every game he has started. He has allowed 6 or more earned runs in every start except one (He only allowed 3 ER in 3 IP against the Angels.) Maybe he liked that last year when he was released and cashed a $7 Million paycheck for guaranteed portion of his contract – who wouldn’t?
The thing that is even more off the wall is that Weaver is still on an active roster in my fantasy baseball league – the GDML. After last year’s debacle, I was surprised anyone drafted him. The team that drafted him has 9 staring pitchers and is punting saves. By keeping Weaver, he is also punting ERA and WHIP as well. Can you punt 3 pitching categories and be competitive? The person that owns him is trying to do as few transactions as possible to conserve money, which is a losing strategy to begin with. This past week, he had the third pick on the waiver wire, but passed on several good pitchers to hang on to Weaver. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “Good luck with all that”.
Jeff Weaver – consecutive years for bust of the year? – Maybe. However one thing is certainly true. He has the worst performance of any player in the GDML history for a 45 day period to begin 2007. Look for him to be released in the next few weeks. (The same day I wrote this, Weaver was placed on the 15 day DL with right shoulder tendinitis. Strange that he has no pain and has not complained about it at all. Sounds like Bill Bavasi is trying to pull a fast one, stashing him on the DL, followed by a long minor league rehab assignment.)
Weaver’s agent? – How could I have not mentioned this sooner? It is the baseball Anti-Christ Scott Boras.
Who would have thought that! (Heavy sarcasm while rolling eyes) Boras has been the instigator of some of the most ridiculous signings in baseball history. Why general managers continue to do business with this snake oil salesman is beyond me. When Boras retires, he is going to write a tell-all book about how he convinced all these baseball executives to pay stupid money year after year for dead weight like Weaver. Only then will we find out about his naked pictures of team owners and GM’s in all sorts of compromising positions. Either that or he has learned to use the force – “Jeff Weaver is the front line starting pitcher you have been dying to spend $8 Million a year on and these are not the droids you’re looking for – move along.”