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Angels ace Weaver left a lot of money on the table and doesn't care

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Weaver is preparing for another run at the AL Cy Young Award. (USATSI)
Weaver is preparing for another run at the AL Cy Young Award. (USATSI)

Back in August 2011, Angels right-hander Jered Weaver signed a five-year contract extension worth $85 million that will keep him in Anaheim through 2016. Had he not signed the deal, he would have become a free agent this past offseason and been one of the best pitchers on the market, along with Zack Greinke.

Now, $85 million is nothing to sneeze at, but it's clear Weaver left a substantial amount of money on the table by signing an extension in lieu of free agency. How does he feel about that? This is what he told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

"I don't give a . . ." Weaver said. "You can quote me on that."

Well, then.

Shaikin did everyone a favor and removed the expletive, but you get the point. Weaver, 30, doesn't care that he traded the biggest payday possible -- perhaps double the value of his current contract -- in exchange for long-term security. Granted, he had still banked roughly $17 million in career earnings prior to the extension, but $85 million is security for his kids, his kids' kids, and his kids' kids' kids.

Weaver is represented by Scott Boras, who typically takes his top clients out on the market. Staying in Southern California -- Weaver grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs -- was a priority, though, so the deal was struck. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies is the only other notable Boras client to pass on free agency in exchange for a long-term extension.

Weaver, who will earn $16 million this season, has gone 51-25 with a 2.73 ERA over the last three seasons. He made three All-Star teams and thrice finished in the top five of the AL Cy Young voting.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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