Weaver brothers together again

Updated: February 16, 2006, 6:21 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- There was a time when Jeff Weaver didn't want to spend time with his little brother, Jered.

As so often happens when people get older, that's no longer the case.

Now that Jeff has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Angels, the two are together again. And it was Jered providing encouraging words to big brother.

"It's one of the only times that we're ever going to get to play together," the 23-year-old Jered said Thursday -- a day after Jeff joined him as a member of the Angels.

"We've never even been on the same field or played together at any time in our lives," Jered added. "It's exciting for me to have my first spring training with my brother at my side."

Jeff, 29, figures to fill the third spot in the Angels' rotation -- behind AL Cy Young award winner Bartolo Colon and John Lackey. Jeff agreed to a one-year contract worth $8.325 million and can earn an additional $600,000 in performance bonuses.

The elder Weaver went 14-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 34 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, earning $9.35 million in the final season of a four-year contract.

The addition of the Jeff Weaver will likely create a dogfight this spring between Ervin Santana, Hector Carrasco and Kelvim Escobar for the remaining two spots in the Angels' starting rotation, unless someone else, like Jered, manages to win a spot.

Jered is considered one of baseball's best young pitching prospects, and hopes to become a member of the Angels' rotation in the near future. The addition of his brother will make it tougher for Jered to make the big-league roster, but that's OK with him.

"I'm just going to do what I do and, hopefully, they like what they see and stick me where I belong," he said.

Jered was the 12th overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft, falling to that spot because of the fear that agent Scott Boras wanted too much money for his client.

In fact, the Angels signed Weaver almost a year after he was drafted -- shortly before a deadline to reach an agreement or he would have re-entered the draft.

Boras negotiated Jeff's contract, and the pitcher downplayed his agent's role in lengthening his time as a free agent this past offseason, maintaining his determination to work out a deal with the Dodgers damaged his chances of signing a longer-term contract with another team.

Jeff said other teams including a contender he wouldn't identify offered multiyear deals, but in the end it was a chance at winning and playing with his brother that made the difference.

"I had a few talks with my brother and made sure I wasn't stepping on his toes," Jeff said. "People think it's an easy decision to just come and play with your brother, but I know he's worked hard to get up to the big leagues and find himself a spot.

"Obviously, it was another selling point for me. It would be unreal, kind of surreal, to be on the same field with him. To compete with him at the highest level would be a dream. It would be awesome."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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