01/30/07 8:06 PM ET
Weaver ready for fresh start
Veteran righty signs one-year $8.325 million deal
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
"We changed a lot with this signing," Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said. "We think we improved that one spot in the rotation. This helps us in so many ways. This is a huge upgrade for us at a time when we needed the huge upgrade."While Weaver's signing essentially ends the Jake Woods versus Cha Seung Baek debate over who will begin the season as the team's fifth starter, Bavasi indicated on Tuesday that Weaver is capable of pitching higher in the rotation. That certainly wasn't the case last season when Weaver struggled mightily with the Los Angeles Angels, going 3-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts before the team designated him for assignment in July. Weaver cited several contributing factors for his struggles -- poor mechanics, distrust in his stuff and the continuous comparisons to younger brother Jered, who was 11-2 with the Angels after being promoted from Triple-A in May. "It was getting started on the wrong foot, having a couple of tough starts early and instead of working through those problems and trusting my mechanics, I overdid it and made too many adjustments and tried anything to make it better quick," Weaver said. As for being on the same team has his younger brother, Weaver said, "It was special for me to be there for his first start and see him grow. I was very proud."
But Weaver grew wary of the comparisons between the two from the media.
"I think this time around we're keeping our thoughts and ideas to ourselves," Weaver said.Shortly after he was designated for assignment by the Angels, the team agreed to trade him to St. Louis for cash considerations and Minor Leaguer Terry Evans, who certainly didn't pay the Angels the immediate dividends that Weaver did. After discussions with Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, Weaver got back to his old self -- trusting himself and his stuff. Duncan didn't try to micromanage, and Weaver appreciated that. He made a few minor adjustments that paid off, like sliding to the third base side of the pitching rubber and elevating his arm during his delivery so that his arm wouldn't drag behind him, leaving his pitches flat. Those changes were certainly prevalent in October. Weaver became the only Cardinals pitcher to win a game in the Division Series, the NLCS and the World Series. All told, he was 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in the postseason. He started the season feeling lost and ended it with a World Series ring. And now he's in Seattle, part of a revamped rotation that will include three new faces -- his and those of Miguel Batista and Horacio Ramirez. "I'm very excited to be here," Weaver said. "It's been known in the last couple of years, for me, that change is good. I'm excited to pursue a new venture."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.