Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Orb-Weaver

Ladson updates a story that made the LA Times this morning. The Nats are interested in signing Jeff Weaver. Weaver's a Boras client, and Boras clients always want a lot of money, even if they'll settle for short-term deals. But this is the second straight year that Weaver's been left standing when the music stopped, and with a few other guys like Lohse out there, he's probably getting antsy.

I can't remember if I wrote it here, elsewhere, or in an email, but in the period right before the Perez signing, he was the guy I'd target.

Now Weaver really isn't any good anymore. And he looks like he's already driven his conversion van halfway down the cliff, but....

You don't have to go toooo far back to find out a time when he was a league average starter. He's fairly durable. And he has bouts of effectiveness.

Even last year, when he was terrible, he had a long period of sustained mediocrity, which is better than it sounds! After he came back from a DL stint (which was basically a contrived excuse to send him down for sucking), he pitched to a 4.76 ERA over his last 21 starts. Good? Nope. Bad? Nope. Mediocre? Definitely!

Now there's reason to believe that he might be even better than that. He's pretty much a slight flyball pitcher, though his FB% was the same as Matt Chico's (an extreme flyball pitcher) last year. Why do I bring that up? Because the Mariners had one of the worst feckin' outfields in the history of mound.

There's Ichiro in the middle, then two DH's. Jose Guillen hobbled around terribly most of the season. And Raul Ibanez has been a 1B/DH for about the last 10 years. The crappiness of the defense has been a constant refrain of the always excellent and analytical M's blogs.

Since Weaver gave up more flyballs than normal, and pitched in front of a mummified defense, it stands to reason that he'd do better with non-statues in front of him.

The team has money coming out its ears. Signing him, even if they were to throw a few million his way (if it takes even that much) isn't going to hurt the Lerners or the farm system. But it stands a good chance of helping the MLB team, especially with Shawn Hill's vaguely Patterson-like arm problems lingering. All we need is a solid #4! And the more warm bodies we have, the less the chance of Mike Bacsik staining the new ballyard's mound! Win-win, baby!