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Sign, Dammit

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The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have just one day to sign 2004 first round pick Jered Weaver, otherwise he will go back into the 2005 draft pool. The latter looks more likely.This represents a colossal failure by the Angels, Weaver, and Weaver's agent Scott Boras. The idea that a pitcher coming out of college is worth $6 million before he's ever played a minor league game is absurd. Highly touted pitching prospects have a lousy record of success, even those who went to college. Sometimes you strike gold with a Mark Prior, but more often than not, you're lucky if the guy ever makes your rotation. Boras' outrageous contract demands are only doing further damage to young Weaver. He's only now getting an opportunity to play on the nondescript Camden Riversharks of the Independent Atlantic League.

That said, Angels fans should be blaming Arte Moreno, Bill Stoneman, and team management for fouling this one up. They came in knowing Boras' history. They knew very well what Boras was demanding, and it was the only reason why Weaver was available at No. 12. If you make the decision to draft a Scott Boras-represented prospect--particularly one who dominated college baseball by going 15-1 with a 1.62 ERA at Long Beach State--then you have to be prepared to bite the bullet and pay up.

According to most media reports, Weaver can be had for a Major League deal of $6 million. The Angels are offering $5.25 million and refuse to budge. If that's true, and Arte Moreno really won't go up an extra $750,000 for a guy who was probably the best prospect in the 2004 draft, then maybe he's not the owner we all thought he was.

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So message to Arte Moreno: You put yourself in this mess by ignoring the "signability" issue when drafting Weaver. Now pay up, take your prize, and don't waste your 2004 first round draft pick.

(And Angel fans, hope this guy turns out better than his brother Jeff, who has been the Dodgers worst pitcher this season, pitching with "weakness" in his right shoulder)