Last night Jeff Weaver and the Dodgers failed to reach an agreement to keep the right-hander in LA. Since he can’t resign with his former club until May 1, he will most likely be pitching for someone else next season. Could this someone else be the Phillies?
Well, Baseball Musings provides some concise analysis regarding Weaver’s strengths and weaknesses. Two cons are his poor performance with a runner on first - which would only be exacerbated by the glass arms of Phillies catchers - and his struggles against left-handed power hitters – also not conducive to the Phillies and their park. On the plus side, he did have a career year last season with 14 wins; though that’s not saying much. Contract-wise he earned just over $9 million in the last year of his deal and is currently represented by Scott Boras. So in that case, he may be cost-prohibitive. Yet, for Gillick and almost everyone who has been complaining about the lack of starting pitchers available this off-season, this might be a bright spot.
It would cost a lot of money to sign Weaver, money the Phils don’t have going into the 2006 season but may have down the road. This is precisely why I am frustrated by Gillick’s nickel and dime acquisitions so far. That money could have been saved for a bigger name like this and would allow the Phils to keep the offensive juggernaut, Bobby Abreu. I’m not saying that Weaver is the solution to the Phillies pitching woes, or even worth $10 million a year; but finally an opportunity Gillick has been waiting for has come to the fore and he’s stuck in Diamond Club scrounging for loose change.