Brewers get more time to decide on Weaver opt-out

Updated: May 28, 2008, 7:26 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers have a little bit longer than they originally thought to make a decision on the future of pitcher Jeff Weaver.

The 31-year-old Weaver signed with the Brewers in April and has been playing for Triple-A Nashville. After speaking with agent Scott Boras on Wednesday, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said Weaver can opt out of the deal and become a free agent if he hasn't been called up to the majors by June 15 -- not June 1, as the team had thought.

"We don't have to [decide] right now," Melvin said. "And right now, Dave Bush and Seth McClung have pitched in the big leagues, and they've pitched better in the big leagues than what he has at Triple-A."

Weaver is 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA at Nashville and was hit hard Monday, giving up nine runs ;[five earned] and eight hits -- including two home runs -- and five walks in six innings.

But Melvin said Weaver hasn't had enough work to get a true sense of his ability to pitch.

"Right now, he's only into 30-something innings," Melvin said. "That's only a little more than spring training. Any pitcher could use more time. But he's just trying to get comfortable. He had no spring training whatsoever."

The Brewers' pitching staff is thin after serious injuries to Yovani Gallardo and Chris Capuano. But Bush seems to be rebounding from a shaky start to the season, and McClung has shown the potential to be a starter.

"It's an evaluation going day-by-day, and that goes for Jeff, too," Melvin said. "We've talked internally a little bit, I talked to his agent today and we'll just have ongoing discussions."

Weaver couldn't find a job after struggling in Seattle last season, when he was 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA. In April, he agreed to a minor league contract with Milwaukee that pays him $12,000 a month.

He would get a $1.25 million salary if added to the Brewers' major league roster, and he would have the chance to earn $2.75 million in performance bonuses.

Weaver is 93-114 with a 4.72 ERA in a nine-year career with Detroit, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Angels, St. Louis and Seattle. He was the winning pitcher for the Cardinals in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series against Detroit.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press