Should the Padres Consider Signing Jered Weaver?

Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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Credit: Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

Jered Weaver is reportedly being “entertained” by the San Diego Padres.

It remains to be seen if the team is indeed seriously interested in the right-handed pitcher, but they do have an obvious need for arms in the rotation for the 2017 season. That cannot be denied.

A.J. Preller will explore all avenues, and if he believes the former ace is due for a rebound, then he will pull the trigger.

But is Weaver about to make a comeback in terms of production at the age of 34? His numbers have been on a steady decline, as has the velocity on his fastball. Weaver consistently sits in the mid 80s with his fastball, and that is probably being generous. Obviously at this point in his career, with diminished velocity like that, he is more of a pitcher than a thrower.

At one point, Jered Weaver was a legitimate ace pitcher. The Angels rode him hard and he produced for them. In 2010, he struck out 233 batters in 224 innings, and the following year he was runner-up for the A.L. Cy Young award. The three-time all-star has had great success in the league, but his numbers the last two seasons are downright pitiful.

It’s one thing to have a decrease in velocity, but he also has been hit hard consistently by batters. After not giving up even one hit an inning his first nine career seasons, he has given up 372 hits in the last 337 innings pitched. At more than a hit per inning, it is no wonder his ERA is 4.98 over the last two seasons. That is not good. Also factor in that Weaver gave up a league-leading 37 home runs last year in only 178 innings pitched.

Overall last season, Weaver was 12-12 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.461 WHIP in 31 starts. The Angels were on the hook for $20 million dollars in the last year of a 5-year/$85-million dollar extension he signed in August of 2011. Rest assured he will get nothing close to that in free agency this year from the Padres, or anyone else for that matter.

The San Diego Padres have recently inked Jhoulys Chacin and Clayton Richard to $1.5 million dollar deals, each for the 2017 season. There are also reports the team is talking to Jake Peavy about a possible reunion. I know this doesn’t excite a lot of fans, but Peavy is only nine wins away from being the franchise’s all-time wins leader. In a season full of rebuilding, having someone like him to root for will go a long way for the fan base.

The Padres are slowly forming a staff for the 2017 season. The rotation is easily the worst in the majors presently, but there is still time for the team to make a move or two to solidify this group. Luis Perdomo, Christian Friedrich, Jake Cosart, Cesar Vargas, and Paul Clemens are all capable of starting. The team will have options, and hopefully all this competition will motivate some of these guys to take their game to the next level.

Now as far as Jered Weaver is concerned, his lack of velocity and propensity to give up the long ball is something that the team should stay away from. At this point, I would rather have Cosart or Clemens be given a shot. Even Dinelson Lamet or Michael Kelly would be more interesting and far less expensive. They have youth and some upside. Weaver is at the tail end of his career and to think he can return to his former self is crazy. He also is a six inning pitcher (max) at this point in his career. That does nothing for the Padres and their bullpen, which needs arms in the rotation that can go deep into games.

Please do not chase the ghosts of the 2004 draft when Weaver was selected by the Angels with the 12th pick overall. The Padres selected Matt Bush in a cost-saving move as Weaver’s stock fell due to high contract demands. The 6′ 7″ Weaver had a great career, but he can’t help the Padres at this point.

The Darren Balsley factor doesn’t equate here as Weaver is a light-throwing veteran. At this point, it just seems like his arm is done and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Because of his soft-tossing abilities, he is not a bullpen option either. I’m sure he will get a spring training invite from someone though, perhaps even the Padres (gulp…who knows). No team should give him a guaranteed deal as he would have to show a lot in the spring to earn a 25-man roster spot. The reports are just that. Reports. The Padres and A.J. Preller are just turning over every stone in their search for pitching. Weaver shouldn’t be an option. We all can carry on with our day.

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