Ladies and gentlemen, the impossible has happened. Jon Heyman is reporting that the Angels have signed Jered Weaver to a five-year, $85 million extension.
I'll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor....
OK, ready? This is TREMENDOUS news for the Angels not only because they lock up their best player for below market value, but because absolutely nobody thought they could do it (except me). Everyone said it was impossible and assumed that Weaver was destined to bolt for a team like the Yankees after 2012 (except me).
The Angels were supposedly too cheap, kind of true, but $85 million is a lot of money. The Angels supposedly couldn't deal with Scott Boras, kind of true, but this could be the first step in finally mending that bridge. The Angels had supposedly alienated Weaver via the arbitration process, which they clearly didn't otherwise Weaver never would have ordered Boras to work out this extension rather than wait until he hit the open market. As such, this supposedly should be a big surprise, which it both is and isn't.
The only real surprise, to me at least, is that a Boras client re-upped with his team before hitting the open market. It isn't unprecedented, but it just isn't what Boras is known for. Nor is it very Boras-like to make the deal mid-season, especially when he could've waited until after the season when Weaver might have a shiny Cy Young award sitting on his mantle, thus jacking up the price.
What makes it not a surprise is what we should have realized all along, a point I made in that second article of mine I linked to (that's the last shameless plug, I promise), that Weaver is about as Southern California as they come. The guy was practically born and raised under the shadow of the Big A. His demeanor and appearance are straight out of central casting for SoCal surfer dudes. Why would he ever want to leaver?
Baseball, as a whole, is a business, but it doesn't have to be on an individual basis. Weaver said all along he wanted to be an Angel for life, but nobody really took him at his word... until now. Sure, he may have not liked the things the Angels said about him during arbitration or the way they handled his recent suspension (I still think the Angels strong-armed him out of appealing), but those factors and the draw of a few extra million per year just aren't enough to convince him to leave the area he grew up in and the team he grew up rooting for.
But enough about Weaver, let's talk about Tony Reagins and how he totally just saved his job. Despite all his missteps in the last two years, this deal assures that Reagins will remain GM into the 2012 season. There is just no way Arte Moreno walks into Reagins' office in October and says, "Tony, thanks so much for dealing with the most notorious and hated agent in sports and getting our best player locked up to a team-friendly extension. Now, get the hell out you're fired." Sorry, Reagins-haters, that just isn't going to happen.
Hopefully keeping Reagins for at least another year won't take the shine off this moment because we all should be absolutely ecstatic that Weaver is going to be Angel for five more years. I can't tell you how much I enjoy typing that.