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Jered Weaver isn’t worried about the $60 million he passed up

Jul 13, 2012, 6:27 PM EDT

Jered Weaver Getty Images

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.

  1. scoobies05 - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    great pitcher…..great attitude

    • 700lb - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Agreed. I would imagine it is difficult to keep things in perspective when you are a pro athlete. There are so many egos when it comes to contracts and it is great to see that Weaver isn’t caught up in that. He is also smart for allowing the Angels to sign other players with the “discount” money left over.

  2. wetmorepsu12 - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    this is very refreshing to see from a professional athlete

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I enjoyed his school of thought on people jumping his back for not waiting out for a triple digit million dollar offer by saying something along the lines of “If I can’t take care of my family and loved ones with $85 million then I’m stupid.”

    I wish more athletes would take this approach.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      “If 85 is not enough to take care of my family and generations to come, then I’m pretty stupid.”

      • hojo20 - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        Jeff W. can chip in and help the Weaver family too.

      • rooney24 - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        Or, if it isn’t enough, he can say, “I was dumb enough to sink all of my money into a video game company that I shouldn’t have been trying to run”

  4. pinkfloydprism - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    He sounds like a cool guy. I wish every athlete had this attitude when it came towards salaries.

  5. astrosfan75956 - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Weaver is the man, too bad he plays for LAA.

    • theduuuuuuuuuude - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      Oh yeah, he’d be MUCH better off playing for a championship caliber club like the Houston Astros.

  6. dkphilly1122 - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I wish ALL athletes were like this stud of a pitcher who could have easilyyyyyyy gotten way more money. Great Pitcher, Great Attitude. I wish him nothing but the best of luck!! If my Phillies won’t win the World Series I wanna see the Angels, for him.

  7. jayquintana - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Smart guy. I bet Lackey and Crawford wish they took less money and signed with a team and a city that suited their personalities.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      I can’t think of any city in the U.S. that suits grown men who throw tantrums on the mound while they get knocked around.

  8. bigleagues - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I have a feeling that he would be Lebowski approved as a full-fledged Dude, dude.

    • jayquintana - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Jeff Weaver… he abides. Wait, I’m a Dodgers fan!

  9. charlutes - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    There are less grammatical errors in a 13 year old diary. Pretend to be a professional and give it a once over.

    • Adrastus Perkins - Jul 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      “There are *fewer* grammatical errors in a *13-year-old’s* diary. Pretend to be a professional and give it a *once-over*.

      Thanks for the tips, hot shot.

  10. rickyspanish - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    When he and his dad hugged it out early this year, I thought he was a good dude. Now after reading this, he’s the real deal. Angels fans are fortunate to have this guy wearing their colors.

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