Jeff Weaver has to be somewhere between the pitcher who imploded while with the Yankees and the one who pitched well in the World Series. Wouldn’t that make him a No. 3 or No. 4 quality starter? And, that could be enough to fill out the rotation.
There’s no question Weaver didn’t handle things well emotionally while with the Yankees, but that was four years ago and people can change. Remember, it wasn’t so much New York, as it was in dealing with all that nonsense with George Steinbrenner.
I covered the Yankees at the time and Steinbrenner publicly ripped Weaver and chose Jose Contreras over him. Steinbrenner made it impossible to Weaver to succeed here because he let it be known he wanted Contreras. His preference with Contreras had nothing to do with ability at the time, but everything to do with justifying winning the bidding war with the Red Sox over him.
New York can be an intimidating place, but Weaver wasn’t flustered in October. And, don’t forget, pitching for the Yankees and Steinbrenner is different than pitching for the Mets. It’s New York, but it’s still different.
Weaver could be worth the gamble, but not at four years and $40 million.