With hearing in past, Weaver focused on camp

With hearing in past, Weaver focused on camp

With hearing in past, Weaver focused on camp
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Insisting he has "no hard feelings" in the aftermath of losing his salary arbitration case with the Angels, ace Jered Weaver said he's unaware of any movement toward a long-term deal with the only professional organization he has known.

"I have nothing against the Angels, and I hope they have nothing against me," Weaver said Sunday in the home clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium. "I'm still going to go out and pitch my butt off for them.

"I would love to play with the Angels for a long time, and I think they know that."

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Much has been made of the Angels' reportedly strained relationship with Scott Boras, Weaver's agent. His proximity to the field at Angel Stadium -- his firm has a prime seating area behind home plate -- doesn't mean Boras is as close to management as he is to the action.

Weaver sensed no ill will between his representatives and the Angels in the hearing that took place on Wednesday in Phoenix. The arbitrators ruled the following day in favor of the club's $7.365 million offer. Weaver was seeking $8.8 million.

"I talked to Scott about that," Weaver said. "I don't like to pay attention to anything like that. I love baseball, the Angels, management, teammates. I've got pretty big skin. Nothing they said bothered me. We went in at 2 [p.m. MT] and were done at 6. It wasn't that harsh. But, as I like to say, I just work here."

Asked about reports of a multiyear extension being discussed by the two sides, Weaver shook his head.

"I've never heard much of anything about that," he said. "From my understanding, it didn't go anywhere."

Weaver can become a free agent after the 2012 season. He'll be arbitration-eligible again next winter.

"I wish I didn't have to go through it," he said. "It was good; it was interesting, kind of fun in a way. It wasn't like sitting in math class.

"The game has become very business-oriented. You find out business is business. As I like to say, I just work here."

Despite losing his case, Weaver received a substantial raise from the $4.625 million he earned in 2010 when he made the American League All-Star team for the first time and placed fifth in the AL Cy Young Award balloting.

Weaver has maintained the offseason conditioning program he took into the 2010 campaign, seeing no reason to mess with success. The 6-foot-7 right-hander is up to 213 pounds after ending the season at 195.

One of Weaver's batterymates, Bobby Wilson, showed up at camp on Sunday having shaved off 33 pounds, to 210, over the winter with a training regimen and improved diet. Reliever Kevin Jepsen followed the same plan and watched 14 pounds disappear, to 228.

Shedding weight never has been an issue for the angular Weaver, whose 13-12 record last year was highly deceiving. He led the Major Leagues in strikeouts, finished fifth in the AL in ERA (3.01) and third in the AL in innings pitched (224 1/3). He was the sixth-toughest pitcher in the league to hit and had the sixth-best WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) in the Majors.

"Jered was terrific from start to finish," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "The one thing a pitcher can't control is wins and losses. Everything else he could control, Jered controlled. With better offensive support, he could have challenged for the league lead in wins.

"He gave us consistency and pitched at a high level the entire season. He didn't weaken at all, even though he exceeded his career high in innings by a large number. He carried his stuff and his competitiveness throughout the season and kept us in the game almost every time out."

Weaver averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings, good for third in the Junior Circuit. His 233 K's represented the highest strikeout total by an Angels pitcher since Nolan Ryan notched 260 in 1978.

The Halos produced three or fewer runs in half of his 34 starts. Eleven times, they scored two or fewer. Ten times, Weaver went at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run.

"I'm confident we're going to be a lot better this year," Weaver said. "I like what we've done, getting Vernon Wells and the two relievers [Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi].

"That outfield [Wells, Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter] is probably one of the best outfields that's played in a while. Me being a fly-ball pitcher, it's going to be fun watching them play."

A lot more fun, presumably, than a four-hour arbitration hearing with an unhappy ending.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.