Cincinnati right-hander David Weathers was destined for a job with the Phils. According to Sunday’s Inquirer, the club could fulfill that prophecy.
General manager Pat Gillick faces little risk in getting out-flanked for the right to sign David Weathers. Most teams believe he’s already here. He fits the yeoman mold of a reliever who should have been here years ago, during the Ed Wade era. But to the surprise of many, the sturdy 6-3 right-hander has never been Phillies property. That could change. According to today’s paper, the Phils are targeting Weathers and Florida closer Joe Borowski. I prefer Weathers.
Among the sexy names bandied about – the Sorianos, the Sheffields, the A-Rams – this faceless, 37-year-old journeyman somehow provides the most comfort. He makes total, practical sense. There’s no weirdness; there’s no uneasy feeling. The Phillies won’t pay through the nose, and they already know precisely how to use him.
Sure, he won’t sell tickets, and he might inspire a few Wade jokes, but anyone with half a head recognizes the hole at the back of the bullpen as the team's most urgent need. As much as it pays to take risks, they desperately need at least one horse who’s battle tested and can miss some bats. Honestly, they probably need more than one. If signed, there can be little doubt Weathers will finish first or second on the team in appearances.
He’s at an age when sabermatricians waive a red flag, but on the field, there’s simply no sign of slowing. He hasn't had a bad season since '99. He was smoking good the final three months of '06, holding hitters to a lights-out .135 average in August and September. He finished 4-4 with a 3.54 ERA and 12 saves, limiting batters to a .226 average. That’s so much better than Arthur Rhodes. In fact, it was so much better than most non-closers. He ranked 12th among all NL relievers, according to Hardball Times Win Shares.
Enough with the wishy-washy endorsements for players with baggage who cost a boatload. While other matters are settled, outbid the others for this guy.