Well, Rickie drew a line in the sand last week: the Brewers have until the start of spring training – Which starts at the end of this month – to negotiate a deal with the second baseman.
I’ll wait so you can allow the gravity of the situation to set in.
Recovered? Good. Because in reality this situation is nothing to worry about. Mostly because the Arbitration meeting is slated for February 17th, so a deal will be struck before spring training regardless. But also, it shouldn’t be worrisome because Rickie Weeks is not in a position of great leverage in this situation. Rickie’s play here isn’t uncommon or surprising. This is his last arbitration year and he wants what he feels is due. That number, according to the Milwaukee Brewers and Journal-Sentinel, is $7.2 Million. Club officials were quick to respond with a counter: $4.85 million. Here’s where it starts to fall apart.
Weeks undoubtedly had a break out year in 2010, finishing the year with 29 home runs and 83 runs batted in. Looking at just that, I say sign him now with whatever he wants. But what he wants becomes more confusing when you take his whole career in question. Plagued by injuries and lagging numbers in years past, Rickie has been as much a liability in his time in Milwaukee as he has been a benefit. The second baseman is reportedly looking for a multi-year deal, and the Brewers front office is exploring the possibilities of that situation with him.
I like Rickie when he is healthy and performing, but putting multiple years and millions of dollars on a gamble is not something I’m comfortable with. Sure, it would be great if every year Rickie Weeks could have an incredible season. Also, I firmly believe he should be rewarded for having an excellent year last year. I just don’t think his reality and his expectations can line up in this situation. I think a single year deal in the middle ground between four and seven million is fine. It will allow Rickie to give it one more shot for the club and also improve his asking price for next year. Somewhere deep down Weeks and his agent have to know this.
Rickie Weeks is going to be a Brewer when the season starts – obviously. How wealthy a Brewer and how long he will stay are a matter of contention for both sides. My only hope is that both parties can reach an easy, fair agreement so we can move on and take care of the more important tasks with the two and a half weeks left in the off-season.