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How much money did Jered Weaver lose by signing an extension with the Angels?

Dec 10, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Jered Weaver Getty Images

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.

  1. natslady - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Yeah, we are never signing Strasburg to an extension. LA may have nice weather, but that is a lot of money…

    • pinkfloydprism - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Well, with BorAs$ as his agent, did you really believe that there was a chance of signing him to an extension before free agency?

      • jwbiii - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        While it’s fun to write “BorAs$” and vilify the guy, he seems to do what his clients want him to, doesn’t it? Most want max bux and don’t care if their agent plays hardball, so he does that. Weaver wanted to stay in Anaheim, and he did. Mark Teixeira took less money to play for the Yankees because he wanted to win a World Series, and he did. Adrian Beltre took less money on a one year deal to play for the Red Sox to rebuild his future value, and he did. Then he took less money to play in Texas because he wanted to play for a contender, and they’ve made the playoffs in both of his seasons there.

        What happens to Strasburg is up to Strasburg.

  2. rangermania - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    This lust for the most money is what’s killing this country. No more players willing to take less money to stay loyal to a team. It’s always looked upon as owners taking advantage of a player rather than a fair deal. It’s to the point where poor fans can’t afford to attend games because of high seat cost, high concessions cost and even outrageous parking cost. Everyone is rolling in dough except most of the fans.

    • nategearhart - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      So tell us how much more you could be making doing whatever it is you do now if only you cared about money.

      • louhudson23 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:26 AM

        If I only cared about money,I would not be living in SW France and making a fraction of my former income I commanded in the U.S.. Or I could go to Iraq and make several times what I formerly made in the U.S…..but that is a personal decision and one which I question periodically. I have no understanding of Pujols(and the many others) declaring that St. Louis is where he would choose to play and then moving to California purely for more money. The city,the ball club and my teammates would determine my decision by the time I reached that point in my life(young and unproven is a different story) That,for me ,is the true meaning of success.

      • skeleteeth - Dec 11, 2012 at 7:59 AM

        I understand what you’re doing here but I really don’t think it’s relative. MLB player’s are paid guaranteed money whether or not they perform or if they even play a single game during a season in some cases. This is not how employment in the real world works.

        That said, let’s see Greinke’s performance over those 6 years and then come back to this question. If he doesn’t hold up his end of the deal then maybe this is more a case of gross overpayment on the part of LA and not some weird opposite world quasi-moral-every-man argument that Weaver should have taken the money simply because he could.

      • nategearhart - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        Guaranteed money and performance have nothing to do with your original point that a player should be willing to take less money to stay with a team that happened to draft him. Also missing from your comments is the fact that baseball players typically have a much much shorter amount of time in which to earn the money their going to earn than someone in a different industry.

    • Detroit Michael - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Prices are set based on the estimated demand for a product or service, even if the cost of producing the item is far below that. The fees charged by MLB owners do not depend on how much they pay players. (That explains why major college football tickets aren’t nearly free.)

    • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Players taking less to stay with a team IS ownership taking advantage of them. And a player getting far more than he’s worth is him taking advantage of ownership. That’s how the market works. It’s not the players job to facilitate ownerships cashflow. For me? I’d much rather watch labor take advantage of ownership than the other way around.

      Also the A’s average ticket price this year was higher than the Angels, who spent a ton of money to take players from other teams last year.

    • louhudson23 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:19 AM

      I don’t know about the loyalty part,but making a decision entirely on money is rarely a good one for anyone. Clearly,Weaver got what he wanted. Lots of money and on his terms. That is power well used.

  3. manute - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Poor dumb bastard. Look at him smiling in that picture like living wear he wants to and making ten figures a year is something to be happy about.

    • manute - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Yes, I said “wear.” Your welcome.

      • manute - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        Ten figures – including cents, obv.

        OK, I will never post again.

      • cur68 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        If everyone who misused a synonym and miscounted a figure stopped posting on this board, even Calcaterra (not to mention all his little blogging buddies) would be gone. Your point, though made with slightly faulty parts, is accurate. Weaver sure looks pissed about his paltry 85 million (and change).

      • byjiminy - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        nice thought, but it’s homonym, not synonym.

        This misuse of the word synonym is what’s killing this country!

      • cur68 - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        OK, I will never post again.

      • spellingcops - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Thanks for that. People like you are making my job easier.

  4. kash71 - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Weaver told Boros this is what he wanted. He did not want to leave the Angels. Honestly if his finances are manage properly, he will not notice the difference.

    • skids003 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      And I believe that’s exactly what he told people at that time.

    • jayquintana - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      I bet John Lackey wishes he didn’t chase the highest contract. I know it’s a cliche, but, honestly, money isn’t everything.

      I’m not an Angels fan at all, but go Weaver!

      • xavier46 - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Why, exactly, would John Lackey wish he didn’t chase the highest contract?

        It’s not he has missed out on a championship by leaving LA.

    • tcostant - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      The interesting part was Boros told him it was a bad move and refused to go to the press conference when they announced the deal/

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        That’s because it cut into his percentage.

  5. Carl Hancock - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    “No more players willing to take less money to stay loyal to a team.”

    You realize this is a billion dollar business right? The only people loyal are the fans. A players career could end tomorrow. It’s smart to make as money as they can while they can. The fans may not like it, but it’s the smart thing to do.

    The only reason players were so loyal decades ago was because they had to be. The teams owned them and there was no Free Agency. That is why since the Free Agency era there are been far less players playing entire career with a single team.

    Jared Weaver won’t admit it, but it was a mistake for him to sign that contract. He’s going to make half as much money as some other pitchers. Half. That’s significant. By the time he is a free agent he will n longer be able to command a big contract again.

    • ireportyoudecide - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      “The only people loyal are the fans”

      And Jered Weaver, give the man credit, he took less money, in return his team has more money to spend on better players to improve his chance of winning. I don’t blame players for seeking out the most money but it does happen. I think you see it in the sports with a hard salary cap a lot more though. Those players know they have to take less money if they want to fit on a certain team. In MLB the owner just has to spend more money so I think the players are less likely to do it.

    • echech88 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      You are crazy if you don’t think he was aware of all of that.

      The day he signed it it was written how much he left on the table. He knew this. Most of the questions at his big ass presser were about it.

      He grew up 45 minutes from the stadium and went to college 20 minutes away.

      His whole family comes to games. His press conference he acknowledged how much left on the table and said if you can’t live on $85M you’ll never be happy with more.

      • mrhojorisin - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        Weaver is right: he earned that contract because of his abilities, but in the scope of life, he won the lottery. Why get pissed off because someone else won a bigger lottery? I mean, yes, you can break down and compare the stats, but Weaver is correct in basically saying, “How much money DO you need to be happy?” I think that’s a great attitude for anyone, let alone a professional athlete.

      • xavier46 - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Nah, most people don’t work and put in time to win the lottery.

        I would tend to think Weaver has worked extremely hard for about the last two decades.

      • louhudson23 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:17 AM

        Weaver got what he wanted. He lost nothing. And he is lucky. Lucky to have the ability. Lucky to not have blown a body part to smithereens at some point. Lucky to not have been run over by a drunk driver etc. etc. Luck and other people always play a role in everyone’s and anyone’s success. No one does it on their own and no one does it purely through hard work and desire.

    • jwbiii - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Players rarely played their entire career with one team, at least those with long careers. Let’s look at MVP winners, as these are players who had long careers and most of them are Hall of Famers:

      Frank Schulte, traded from the Cubs to the Pirates, claimed off waivers by the Phillies.
      Ty Cobb, finished his career with the A’s.
      Larry Doyle, traded from the Giants to the Cubs to the Braves, and back to the Giants.
      Tris Speaker, traded from the Red Sox to the Indians, also played for the Senators and the A’s.
      Jake Daubert, traded from Brooklyn to Cincinnati.
      Walter Johnson, played his entire career with the Senators.
      Johnny Evers, traded from the Cubs to the Braves, claimed off waivers by the Phillies.
      Eddie Collins, purchased by the White Sox from the A’s, finished his career back with the A’s.
      George Sisler, purchased by the Senators from the Browns, purchased by the Braves.
      Babe Ruth, purchased by the Yankees from Red Sox, later played for the Braves.
      Dazzy Vance, purchased by the Yankees from the Pirates, purchased by Brooklyn, traded to the Cardinals, claimed off waivers by the Reds, claimed off waivers by the Cardinals, later played for Brooklyn.
      Rogers Hornsby, traded by the Cardinals to the Giants (that was a messy one, as he had an ownership stake in the Cardinals), traded to the Braves, traded to the Cubs, later played for the Cardinals and the Browns.
      Roger Peckinpaugh, traded by Cleveland to the Yankees, traded to the Red Sox, traded to the Senators, traded to the White Sox.
      Bob O’Farrell, traded by the Cubs to the Cardinals, traded to the Giants, traded back to the Cardinals, traded to the Reds, later played for the Cubs again.
      George Burns, purchased by the Yankees from the Tigers, traded to the A’s, purchased by the Indians, traded to the Red Sox, traded to the Indians, purchased by the Yankees, purchased by the A’s.
      Paul Waner, Released by the Pirates, signed with the Dodgers, signed with the Braves, signed with the Dodgers, signed with the Yankees.
      Lou Gehrig played his entire career with the Yankees.
      Jim Bottomley, traded by the Cardinals to the Reds, traded to the Browns.
      Mickey Cochrane, traded by the A’s to the Tigers.
      Frankie Frisch, traded by the Giants to the Cardinals (for Rogers Hornsby).
      Lefty Grove, traded by the A’s to the Red Sox.

      I tire of this exercise, but you get the point: players rarely played their entire career for one team. DiMaggio, Mantle, and Williams are the exceptions, not the rules.

    • louhudson23 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      Loyalty has many manifestations. Weaver did not show loyalty to a team. He did not show loyalty to the bottom dollar(Pujols did). He showed loyalty to his family and his own desires. Loyalty to a team is only part of the conversation. Weaver is interesting only in that he chose to make something other than money the basis for his decision. Agents are the only individuals who are well served in using this criteria exclusively and much of their existence relies on convincing someone like Pujols that the extra money is worth playing where the money is highet and not in a city and for a team one would otherise prefer,whether that is previous team or a new one.Players very rarely are best served by this policy.Weaver is wealthy and happy. Boras lost money. Pujols took money over his own desire to remain in St. Louis(or wherever). He is wealthier than Weaver,presumably less happy(based on his own statements) and Boras made his max money.

  6. willclarkgameface - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Unless things for Greinke change drastically in the coming years, I will go to my grave proclaiming to the tree tops that his 2009 AL Cy Young Award was an aberration. He will go down as a good pitcher, but not HOF worthy and not even amazing.

    Weaver is a better pitcher TODAY than Greinke TODAY. Weaver screwed himself out of money, but if he’s happy then we should be happy for him.

  7. billgatesbarber - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Who would notice an extra year at $62 mil?

  8. stex52 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    It’s totally a Weaver call. I don’t know how Weaver feels. If you told me I could play a kid’s game and leave it with rens of millions in the bank in my late ’30’s, I think I would have been happy.

    If he wanted to set up a major charitable foundation or found a big multinational company he may feel like he lost out. If he is just worried about his family being extremely wealthy and comfortable, then check it off the list.

    I would be okay, but I’m not an elite athlete. I could see him going either way.

    • natslady - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Part of the “problem” is that some guys’ egos need to make the highest dollar, or the the highest AAV, or whatever, and it becomes a trophy. The other part of the problem is that it’s apparently as easy to go bankrupt if you make $100MM as it is if you make $50MM. Sounds to me like Weaver doesn’t fall into either category, so good for him.

      • stex52 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        Agreed that part of the equation is proving you are the best. I have heard other stories, but I think that factored into Pujols’ decision. Your point is also true about bankruptcy; if you are stupide enough to lose 50MM$, it probably goes to 100MM$ also.

        It just depends on the individual. Like I said, the extra money wouldn’t mean much to me, but I’m not an elite athlete who has that potential.

        It does seem a bit absurd, all things considered.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Who’s to say Grienke would have gotten that deal if Weaver had hit the market? A lot of it is also supply and demand. So it’s not only the opportunity cost in terms of how much did Weaver leave on the table, but also how much Grienke benefited from not having more competition in the open market.

  10. APBA Guy - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Every time there is a financial inflection point we get these “he lost money” articles about the guys who signed a year or two before the inflection point. There is a lot more money floating around MLB with only one place to go: the MLB roster. The combination of the new CBA which limits spending on the draft and international signings, plus the new TV money which kicks in in 2014 is driving the bump in wages in the MLB. Next CBA you’ll see the luxury tax threshold go way up. Just watch.

    Even Longoria can be said to have “lost money” on his extension, if viewed from the perspective being applied to Weaver. The key to me is that both these guys seem really happy with their deals and with staying put. Some guys wouldn’t think like that. Different strokes.

    • danrizzle - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Very good points. Furthermore, the beginning point of this analysis is that Jered Weaver would be in the same, or a similar position, that Greinke occupied this offseason. That’s more or less true today, but it does not account for Weaver’s uncertain future from where he stood in August, 2011. To look back and say he gave a discount by taking $85 million a year and change in advance of free agency is incomplete unless you have adjusted for the “year and change in advance of free agency” part. If Weaver lost his arm in September, 2011, he’d still get his $85 million.

  11. minimoose763 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Same could be said for Matt Cain. Can you imagine how much money the Dodgers would have thrown his way? It would have been the ultimate “Screw you” to the Giants. I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend this offseason worrying about whether or not Cain would stay in San Francisco.

    • gogigantos - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      ten million thousand bajillion times yes to that. Please don’t tell, but that contract getting done was the most biggest victory of the season. Winning in October, again, was just plain great gravy…. honest, for reals, cereally,, serious, locking up Cain was a huge huge huge early season victory that made it all come true.

  12. xmatt0926x - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I don’t care how nice of a guy he is or how he was willing to take less to stay with the Angels. He may not have a knife to his wrist but it’s only human nature for him to notice that he likely left $40 million or so on the table. Anyone who thinks he hasn’t watched what has gone down and not at least thought about it is just crazy. again, it doesn’t mean he’s crying himself to sleep but leaving some money on the table is one thing, leaving $40 million is another.

    • crackersnap - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      Which pretty much mean that his great-great-grand-kids will have to get a job, instead of his legacy lasting until his great-great-great-great-grand-kids. Yeah, bummer for him.

      • xavier46 - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        Yeah, Schilling can vouch for precisely what you are saying.

      • crackersnap - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        To xavier: Anybody idiot enough to lose $85 million would be idiot enough to lose $147 million.

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