How Jered Weaver can help the Angels in 2017

In a season where the Halo starting rotation has been ravaged by injuries, only one player has survived the entire season: Jered Weaver.

The Angels have used 12 different starters this season alone and only Weaver is left from the Opening Day rotation. Although he is pitching to a lowly 5.37 ERA, the highest it’s been in Weaver’s career, he has been the only constant in a rotation that has been hit hard by injuries.

Weaver’s contract is up after the 2016 season and, according to Pedro Moura of The Los Angeles Times, he isn’t ready to retire even though his average velocity has dropped significantly over the past few years. He will not be receiving a 2017 contract that even comes close to the $20 million he is making this season, but he does have a good chance to catch onto a major league club. And the Angels may be his best suitor.

For the better part of 10 seasons, Weaver has suited up in Angel red. Many believe Weaver should call it a career due to a fastball that is considered below average by even high school standards, but he could still be an effective pitcher if he converts to the bullpen. If the Angels were willing to shell out a few million dollars for Weaver, not only would it be great for a fan base that has seen key parts of the 2007-09 teams leave via trades or free agency, but I may also be great for the bullpen.

If Weaver put his ego aside and converted into a one-inning or situational guy, he could be a great late inning weapon. Say Garrett Richards has just thrown seven and a third innings of one-run ball, but his pitch count is sky high. The batters have seen nothing but fastballs in the high-90s and sliders in the mid-80s.

Then Jered Weaver comes in throwing 85 MPH fastballs and 68 MPH curveballs. The adjustment the batters have to make just to face Weaver is extremely difficult. It’s one thing seeing a 85 MPH fastball in four at-bats, which is probably why Weaver’s ERA is through the roof, but it’s completely different seeing that same speed for one at-bat after you’ve seen 93+ in three prior at-bats.

The only way this would work would be if both sides were able to reach an agreement. Weaver, who is the same guy who said he wouldn’t convert to the bullpen this season, would have to do exactly that next season and the Angels would have to be willing to give Weaver a contract that is in the range of $2-5 million. Considering Weaver’s personality and Arte Moreno’s reluctance to spend money, it may be tough for the two sides to meet in the middle, but the move would benefit both the Angels and Jered Weaver’s career.

How Jered Weaver can help the Angels in 2017
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