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Investment in Weaver paying off for Padres

San Diego's four free-agent starters performing well
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres spent $8.25 million on four-fifths of their starting rotation during the offseason. So far, it's been money well spent.

Their four free-agent signings have turned in four very impressive starts in the past four nights. Jered Weaver's quality outing during Saturday's 6-3 loss to Miami in 11 innings was merely the latest.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Padres spent $8.25 million on four-fifths of their starting rotation during the offseason. So far, it's been money well spent.

Their four free-agent signings have turned in four very impressive starts in the past four nights. Jered Weaver's quality outing during Saturday's 6-3 loss to Miami in 11 innings was merely the latest.

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All 30 teams had access to Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill and Weaver during the offseason. The Padres offered all four the chance to start this season, and they've been rewarded this homestand.

"They're all good pitchers," said Padres manager Andy Green. "We knew that when we signed them, and we were excited to have them in a Padre uniform. They're out to prove to everybody what they know they are and what we know they are."

Added Weaver: "We're going to go out there and battle and compete. We're some guys with some pretty proven track records. If we can do our thing as a staff, it's going to put us in a position to win some games."

Weaver turned in his third consecutive start in which he allowed two earned runs over six innings. He's had plenty of trouble with the long ball this season, but hasn't allowed an earned run on anything other than a homer.

Runs, of course, are runs whether the ball goes over the fence or not. But Green remains impressed by what Weaver has done.

"He's done an unbelievable job of keeping the team from manufacturing anything," Green said. "It's just kind of been the solo home runs against him that have been the bugaboo. We feel really good about how he's thrown the baseball."

Somehow, Weaver has managed to keep his ERA under 4, despite having allowed seven homers in just 23 innings.

"Solo home runs, they say, don't hurt you," Weaver said. "But I've got to figure out a way to keep the ball in the park."

Of the four free-agent starters, Weaver was the only pitcher who couldn't quite pitch the Padres to a win this week. Chacin threw eight shutout frames on Wednesday against Arizona, before Richard allowed one run over 6 2/3 the following night. Cahill followed them with seven innings of one-run ball against Miami on Friday.

Before Saturday's game, Green was asked about the success of his pitching staff in the larger context of the Padres' future. The organization is clearly building for the future. Yet they have four veterans in the starting rotation, all on one-year contracts.

First, Green noted that he'd like to see all four have sustained success with the organization. But he touted their long-term importance to the club in more ways than the current results. All four, Green said, bring something important to the clubhouse.

"When I looked at the list of guys we were considering [in the offseason], these were guys we all wanted," Green said on Friday. "... All of those guys, people might judge on the outside based on what the salary is attached to the name.

"But all those guys have an opportunity to do something special here and help lead this team back into relevance, really, and also help catapult themselves into another place in the future, maybe back with us. They're all throwing the ball well. They've all bought in."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Jered Weaver