As if seeing Jered Weaver wearing blue — following 11 seasons in Angels red — wasn’t enough, the veteran right-hander arrived in Padres camp with a No. 27 jersey hanging in his locker.”I figured I’ve got to hit,” said Weaver, who donned 36 during his time in Anaheim. “So I went Mike Trout on them.”
National League baseball is just one of many adjustments awaiting Weaver, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Padres on Saturday. Weaver was drafted by the Angels in 2004 and spent his entire career in Anaheim, where he racked up a 3.55 ERA and 150 victories.
Despite the past success, the 34-year-old righty arrived Sunday eager to add to his resume.
“The chance to stay close to home was awesome,” Weaver said. “I took my family into consideration a lot during this process. … Being able to come into a young team and help out in any way possible was appealing as well. I’m excited for the opportunity. I still have a lot to prove and a lot in the tank.”
Weaver, who struggled last season to the tune of a 5.06 ERA, said he never considered retirement during the offseason. He feels that his solid final month gave him something to build on in 2017.
Initially, Weaver had hoped to re-sign with the Angels. But when he realized that wasn’t an option, he began to look elsewhere. San Diego, within driving distance on Interstate 5, offered the perfect destination for his wife and two kids.
Plus, he figures to have a spot in the starting rotation locked up. Manager Andy Green confirmed as much Sunday, saying, “You sign Jered Weaver with the expectation he pitches in the rotation.”
“[He brings] a lot of experience,” Green said. “He’s a guy who is about as competitive on the mound as anybody I can think of in the game. He’s a guy that we hope rubs off his competitive spirit that he has on everybody else in the clubhouse right now. And he’s a guy that’s consistently chewed up a whole lot of innings and pitched at the top of a rotation.”
In 2004, the Padres passed on Weaver with the top pick in the Draft, selecting Matt Bush instead. On Sunday, Weaver said, “I thought this was going to be the place 13 years ago.”
Weaver, who has averaged 30 starts per season since arriving to the Majors in 2006, figures to be a stabilizing presence in the Padres’ wide-open rotation. He also brings plenty of question marks about his age and fastball velocity.
“I’ve proved a lot of people wrong in [the past],” Weaver said. “Obviously I’m to the point in my career where I had to make some changes, physically, and I’m looking forward to hopefully proving some people wrong again.”
By AJ Cassavell