For the second consecutive winter, the Dodgers have signed free-agent right-hander Jeff Weaver to a minor league contract and invited him to major league spring training.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Weaver agreed to terms Tuesday with the same team for which he went 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA last season in seven starts and 21 relief appearances. He will be competing for a bullpen spot in 2010.
Weaver, 33, a Simi Valley High School graduate, also had a two-year stint with the Dodgers in 2004-05, when he was a key member of their starting rotation after being acquired from the New York Yankees in the Kevin Brown trade. After that, the former first-round draft choice of the Detroit Tigers fell on relatively hard times.
Since leaving the Dodgers as a free agent and signing with the Angels, Weaver is 21-31 in the majors. That doesn't even count 2008, when he spent the season with the Triple-A affiliates of the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians. That indignity came a year after he signed a one-year, $8.325 million free-agent deal with Seattle, only to go 7-13 for the Mariners in 2007 with a 6.20 ERA.
By the time he arrived in spring training with the Dodgers last February, Weaver was willing to do anything to revive his flagging career, and that included beginning the season at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he posted a 3.55 ERA pitching mostly out of the bullpen.
The Dodgers purchased his contract April 30, and he remained in the majors the rest of the season. The highlight of his year probably came June 20, when he and his brother, Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, became only the eighth set of siblings in major league history to start a game against each other.
With their parents in the stands wearing identical half-Dodgers, half-Angels jerseys, Jeff Weaver pitched five solid innings at Angel Stadium that night, giving up two earned runs and six hits, and was credited with the win. Jered, the younger sibling, took the loss after the Dodgers tagged him for six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.