Brewers sign Jeff Weaver?

15 04 2008

UPDATE 04-15-08 5:30pm – Tom Haudricourt is now saying that the deal is official.  Weaver will have the opportunity to make close to $4-5M if he hits all the incentives, which is highly unlikely.  Not because he is a bad pitcher, but because it will logistically be difficult with such a deep rotation.

There will be an “out” clause, however.  He can search for another team in July if he has not made it to the big league squad at that point.  It sounds a lot like Abraham Nunez’s contract.

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Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers have signed Jeff Weaver to an incentive-laden minor league deal. This is obviously completely unexpected, especially since Brewers fans have spent the past couple days discussing the Brewers excess starting pitching.

Still, this is certainly a risk-free move for Doug Melvin. Weaver should be sent to Triple-A for a good month and a half to get stretched out and get his pitch-count up. I’m not sure if he will make the big leagues at any point this season, but it is very nice to have a veteran starting pitcher available down the stretch. Perhaps Melvin is hoping that Weaver and Mike Maddux hit it off to create some of the magic Weaver had in the 2006 playoffs for the Cardinals.

What does this mean for Dave Bush? There are a couple of possibilities. First, this could mean that Doug Melvin will be freely shopping the right-hander to many teams. Hopefully, Dave will pitch well tonight, as it could increase his value on the trade market. Trading Bush seemed like a distinct possibility before the Brewers signed Jeff Weaver. Perhaps Melvin cannot find a trading partner for Bush. Unlikely.

What is another distinct possibility is that the Brewers plan on trying to clear Dave Bush through waivers. The management obviously knows that this is extremely unlikely, so they signed someone to replace Dave in the minors. Not to mention Weaver will cost significantly less than Bush will. Have the Brewers already resigned to losing Bush, and have they already found his replacement in Jeff Weaver?

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