Weighing in on Weaver

OK, here’s my take, which I espoused in many fewer words on FSN tonight.

I just don’t see any way this is a bad trade. It may not help, but it can’t hurt.

First, Weaver. He started out the year really badly, there’s no denying that. And his last start was a stinker — though, for what it’s worth, Dave Duncan told me last night that he thought Weaver threw well in that game. But in the six previous games to that, he’d been going very well. A string of games with no more than 3 ER allowed, and in which he went at least six innings in every game but one. That’s pretty encouraging.


With the way this rotation has been going, something had to be done — even if only to save the bullpen. It’s a real concern the way the bullpen has had to eat innings.


Moreover, I think it’s important not to put too much stock in small sample sizes. Over the past two years, Weaver has been a durable, roughly league-average starting pitcher. So you have that on one hand, and then you have about seven or eight weeks at the start of the year that say he’s brutal. When I’m evaluating a guy, I’ll take the two years over the seven or eight weeks every time.

And the same goes for Evans. Before this year, Evans had four full years of pro ball where all he showed was some speed. He hit for a little power but not a lot, hit for a low average, struck out a great deal and didn’t walk much. So you’ve got four years that say he’s a non-prospect, and two and a half months that say he’s something special. It’s possible that he’s figured something out, but I’d say it’s more likely he’s having the hot streak of his career.

Put it this way: if, on April 3, somebody had told you the Cardinals had traded Terry Evans for Jeff Weaver, wouldn’t you think that was a good deal? I would have. And even with those extra three months of context, I don’t believe the balance has changed that much.

Did the Cardinals win the pennant by trading for Jeff Weaver? Of course not. Did they make their rotation better? I think so. Did they do it at a very reasonable cost? Absolutely.

-M.

(thanks so much to everybody for all the comments on the two threads from last night, btw)

11 Comments

It’s amazing to me that the Cardinals, like so many others, spend money to “get” someone instead of allowing the guys they have in minor league (who have equal or BETTER stats) to come up FOR MORE THAN ONE GAME and pitch! If they wanted a RHP, why not call up John Webb from Memphie? He won 10 games in Durham last year and has pitched 5+ innings in every game this year, including a full game. His ERA is better than Weaver’s! What a waste!

Good move IMO.. In other news.. started up a Free Luna petition.. feel free to sign it!

http://www.petitiononline.com/freeluna/petition.html

To answer your question:

“if, on April 3, somebody had told you the Cardinals had traded Terry Evans for Jeff Weaver, wouldn’t you think that was a good deal?”

No, definately not. It would mean we would be paying $ 8 million to a “roughly league-average starting pitcher”.

Fair enough. But given that money changed hands, that changes the dynamic.

The question should have been phrased simply in terms of the exchange of talent.

-M.

>>> It would mean we would be paying $ 8 million to a “roughly league-average starting pitcher”. <<<

Forget that it’s Jeff Weaver, who, is nowhere close to the pitcher he was way back in Detroit.

Look at the numbers, 3-10 record, 114 hits given up in only 88-2/3 innings pitched. 18 home runs surrendered. An ERA of 6.29 with opponents hitting a healthy 309. These numbers are not even close to what I would call an average pitcher.

Obviously, St. Louis is only paying a portion of Weaver’s inflated 8.325 million. That said, this is a very risky move for a team that should win the division.

The race is now on! Everyone is talking up the Astros which I disagree with. Cincinnati is starting to fade, and the Brewers have won 4 straight, are back over the 500 mark, and they still have 40% of their starting rotation on the DL which both pitchers will be returning within a month.

Good luck with Weaver…

http://brewernation.mlblogs.com/

If the trade had happened April 3rd before Weaver’s horrid season, I doubt much money would have changed hands and the level of prospect given up would have been higher. Supposing Evans on April 3, I doubt any money would have change hands.

John…

I think you’re ignoring my point here. Obviously the trade was not made on Opening Day. The point is, from a talent standpoint, as recently as 2-3 months ago, this would have looked like an unquestioned win for the Cardinals.

That doesn’t mean that it is now. But the point I’m trying to make is that there’s a difference between what you can glean from several years of a player’s performance and what you can glean from three months.

-M.

True Matthew. Good luck with Jeff Weaver then. In April when the Angles signed him for 8.325 million, I was thankful that Doug Melvin of the Brewers stayed far away from trying to sign him. They were looking at either Weaver or Washburn. We didn’t get either and thank god for that!

I’m of the opinion that the Cards could have done a much better job finding pitching help.

I don’t know if the Angels agreed to pick up all or part of Weaver’s salary. If it’s pro-rated, then, the Cardinals are responsible for 48.2% or just over 4 million dollars of it.

That leaves Weaver 15 or 16 starts if he stays in the rotation for the rest of the season.

Personally, I would have looked down on the farm first, then, sought a veteran for prospect trade just before the deadline.

I think St. Louis panicked. We will see soon if this move pays off. Then, we have to decide who will benefit from it, the Cardinals, or the rest of the NL Central :)

I’ve always liked Weaver’s bulldog mentality. I’ve seen him pitch games where he’s seemed like he’s owned the batters. If we get that Weaver……watch out!

>>> I’ve always liked Weaver’s bulldog mentality. I’ve seen him pitch games where he’s seemed like he’s owned the batters. If we get that Weaver……watch out! <<<

I’m sure the Angels thought the same way when they signed him as a free agent back in February of this year…

“I don’t know if the Angels agreed to pick up all or part of Weaver’s salary. If it’s pro-rated, then, the Cardinals are responsible for 48.2% or just over 4 million dollars of it.

That leaves Weaver 15 or 16 starts if he stays in the rotation for the rest of the season.

Personally, I would have looked down on the farm first, then, sought a veteran for prospect trade just before the deadline.

I think St. Louis panicked. We will see soon if this move pays off. Then, we have to decide who will benefit from it, the Cardinals, or the rest of the NL Central :)”

Posted by: Rob | July 7, 2006 03:09 PM

The angels agreed to pick up some of his salary which means that the cards will pay him less than the pro rated amount for sure. Panick? This is definately not a panick move. Reyes Wainright Evans for Willis is a panick move. This is pretty much a no brainer. Give up a Double A guy for a guy that has a chance to be a solid starter. The cards don’t need a 2.80 era. They need a guys to give them 6 or 7 innings and allow 3 runs. They just need a chance to win and the 6 eras the last month aren’t going to do that. They rolled the dice and they may or may not win but they made a good bet.

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