This may be one of the least talked about trades in terms of player value, but monetary wise, if the Milwaukee Brewers traded Rickie Weeks they would be able to finally reclaim some money from his back-loaded deal.
However, how much of a market exists for the struggling Weeks?
Weeks in the past two years has not been the same player the Brewers were hoping to get when they gave him that $38 million deal over four years. Of course, a portion of this season was lost for Weeks when he tore his left hamstring back in August. Still, that doesn’t excuse his poor performance at the plate these past two years.
This season, Weeks hit a slash line of .209/.306/.357 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 104 games (350 at-bats). The thing with Weeks is he has never been a batter that is going to hit for average, so expecting Weeks to hit .270-.280 is just out of the question. That said, Weeks does have some upside in the form of power (career ISO of .175) which he still displays despite many struggles at the plate.
Besides his drastic rise in strikeouts (25 percent in 2012 to 26.3 this year), Weeks has just had a hard time getting the ball in play as he sported a BABIP of only .268 this past season. This isn’t to knock Weeks, but clearly his offensive struggles are rather concerning to the Brewers, but his ability to get on hot spurts sometimes does make up for that. In fact during this past June, Weeks hit .355 and smacked five homers while driving in nine runs, arguably his best month since late 2012.
Perhaps the thing that attributes to Weeks’ problems would be that rise in strikeouts. In 2012, Weeks had an O-Swing (pitches swung at outside of the strike zone) of 18.6 percent and in 2013, that number rose to 20.7. He also saw a percent drop in contact at the plate, but I don’t think that factors into his struggles much like his swinging at pitches out of the zone does.
While Weeks has had a lot of problems at the plate, he could be a decent option for another team in need of a second baseman or maybe a designated hitter because of the power he is capable of producing. The Brewers saw that Scooter Gennett is more than capable of taking over at second, though he does have his issues against left-handed pitching. It’s nothing against Weeks, but his contract is coming to a close anyway after 2014 (though there’s a team option for 2015), so why not test him out in the trade waters?
Of course, the most unattractive thing about Weeks would be the contract that Milwaukee gave him. In 2014, Weeks is due $11.5 million and in 2015, should the team pick up his option, he’ll be due the same amount. I’m not sure there are a lot of teams that would want to take on that kind of salary for a guy who has been so inconsistent. However, this is baseball and it is one thing in this world you cannot predict.
Personally, I think the team should try to trade Weeks before they try trading anyone else. It’s not that Weeks is a bad player, but his ridiculous contract has helped put a stranglehold on the team’s money. With his decreased production at the plate and the rise of Gennett, the writing is on the wall for Weeks. Maybe he can find a new home and re-invent himself as a player, but only time will tell what truly happens with him.
Do you think Weeks should stay in Milwaukee or go to another team? Let us know in the comments below.