Jered Weaver bucks agent's advice

Updated: August 24, 2011, 11:56 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jered Weaver admits he had to go against the advice of agent Scott Boras before agreeing to the Los Angeles Angels' five-year, $85 million contract extension, but he said the lure of staying home outweighed the seduction of greater riches.

"If $85 (million) is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I'm pretty stupid, but how much money do you really need in life?" Weaver said Tuesday. "I've never played this game for the money. I played it for the love and the competitive part of it. It just so happens that baseball's going to be taking care of me for the rest of my life."

Weaver, 28, may have left tens of millions on the table by signing 15 months before he reached free agency. He might have been able to get a deal that approaches the seven-year, $161 million contract CC Sabathia signed with the New York Yankees before the 2009 season.

However, Weaver's deal is comparable to recent contracts for Detroit's Justin Verlander and Seattle's Felix Hernandez, and it's bigger than Boston's deal with John Lackey, who left the Angels before last season for a five-year, $82.5 million windfall that's still drawing criticism from Red Sox fans. Weaver said he just wasn't interested in chasing "CC Sabathia money."

Weaver, who started for the American League in this year's All-Star Game, is 14-6 and leads the AL with a 2.10 ERA. His ERA has improved in each of the past three seasons.

When the Angels approached him in July about an extension that will keep him in Anaheim through the 2016 season, Weaver said he was all ears. Boras, he said, wasn't so supportive of what amounts to a hometown discount.

"Obviously, he wants to give you the best options and free agency can give you the best options," Weaver said. "He would have liked to have seen me gone, but I told him I wanted to get something done and he was more than willing to work with me about it that way."

Weaver's first deal with the Angels wasn't nearly so smooth. When the club drafted him with the 12th overall pick in 2004, Boras and the Angels went through a wrenching one-year negotiation, not reaching a deal until shortly before the deadline in May 2005.

"It was a rough time for me and my family, going through that process," said Weaver, who also went to arbitration with the Angels last winter, eventually losing his case. "I didn't want to have that feeling ever again."

Weaver's career with the Angels has been mostly spectacular since his major league debut in May 2006. At 78-45, he's the winningest pitcher in franchise history with at least 100 decisions, and he's the Angels' first pitcher to make two straight All-Star teams since Chuck Finley 15 years ago.

Weaver led the majors with 233 strikeouts last season, becoming the Angels' first strikeout king since Nolan Ryan in 1977. Only Hernandez has a better ERA in the AL over the past three seasons (2.99), and only three pitchers have more victories.

"He's going to be just as good as he was the past several years, and we know he's going to lead us to where we want to go," Angels general manager Tony Reagins said.

Weaver grew up about 70 miles north of Angel Stadium in Simi Valley and attended college 20 miles west at Long Beach State. His brother, Jeff, was six years older, but they bonded when Jered went to Long Beach while Jeff was in the pros.

Jeff Weaver, who turned 35 on Monday, pitched 11 major league seasons while spending time with eight organizations, most recently pitching for the Dodgers last season. Jered Weaver closely watched his older brother's turbulent two seasons with the Yankees in particular, and they factored into his decision to avoid switching teams if possible.

"I know Jeff and Jered spoke quite a bit over the last couple of months," said Dave Weaver, their father. "Jered has never been about the money. It's just about enjoying the game for him. In baseball these days, that's probably taking a discount, but he's following his heart."

The Angels, who ended Tuesday 3½ games behind the first-place Texas Rangers, could have one of the league's most formidable rotations for the next few seasons. Provided the team picks up a couple of options, they'll also have Dan Haren and Ervin Santana signed through 2013.

The Angels formally announced Weaver's extension before a small but raucous crowd outside their stadium Tuesday afternoon.

"As I told Jered, it's not his last contract, but we're certainly happy that the next five years, at a minimum, are going to be here with us in an Angel uniform," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Angels owner Arte Moreno has had chilly relations with Boras since talks fell apart with free agent Mark Teixeira after the 2008 season. No one from Boras' office attended Tuesday's media availability.

"How much more do you need?" Weaver asked about his deal. "Could have got more, whatever. Who cares?"

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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