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Jered Weaver Contract With Angels A Great Deal For Both Sides

Jered Weaver is having a career season for the Los Angeles Angels this season. At 14-6 with a 2.10 ERA, Weaver will likely finish in the top five in the American League Cy Young voting this season. He was headed for a huge payday in free agency after the 2012 season, but instead has opted to stay with the Angels, agreeing to a five-year, $85 million contract.

The deal, which includes a full no-trade clause, will be announced at a 2 p.m. PDT news conference Tuesday at Angel Stadium. The five-year pact is a great deal for both sides. For Weaver, he gets to stay with the team that drafted him, and $85 million is enough to set up a family for a generation or two. For the Angels, they got Weaver at a discount.

Thanks to the great Cot's Baseball Contracts, we can look at Weaver's deal compared to other pitchers of his ilk. Weaver is making $7.365 million this season, and had one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining, so his contract bought out four years of free agency.

The gold standard for pitcher salaries have been set in recent seasons by a trio of hurlers:

  • Cliff Lee: 5 years, $24 million per year with the Phillies
  • CC Sabathia: 7 years, $23 million per year with the Yankees
  • Johan Santana: 6 years, $22.92 million per year with the Mets

All three of these pitchers had a Cy Young or two under their belt when they inked their deals, but sometimes with free agency all it takes is being in the right place at the right time, as A.J. Burnett and John Lackey have shown with their respective five-year deals at $16.5 million annually.

Two deals more comparable to Weaver are the deals signed by Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez. Both signed deals before the 2010 season when they had one fewer year of service than Weaver. The deals for Verlander and Hernandez both bought out two arbitration years plus three years of free agency:

  • Verlander: 5 years, $80 million; three FA years totaled $60 million ($20 million per year)
  • Hernandez: 5 years, $78 million; three FA years totaled $58 million ($19.33 million per year)

Here is a look at Weaver now compared to Verlander and Hernandez through 2010, which was a year after they signed their big deals. Weaver holds up quite well by comparison:

Weaver 2006-2011 1084.1 78-45 937 3.30 129 3.60 1.165 26.3 24.0
2005-2010 1154.1 71-53 1,042 3.20 133 3.43 1.225 24.4 27.2
Verlander 2005-2010 1064.1 83-52 965 3.81 117 3.61 1.259 18.6 25.3

The year-by-year details of Weaver's deal aren't yet known, but it's likely that the first year will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 million. That leaves a little over $18 million per year for the free agency years for Weaver, which means the Angels got a bit of a discount.

For more news and information on Jered Weaver and the Angels, be sure to read Halos Heaven.