Aug 8, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (23) flips his bat after hitting a 3-run homer in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. The Brewers beat the Dodgers 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It was a pretty good season for a platoon player, but he did not post the type of numbers you would like to see for a player making $11 million. He started off well and finished strong, but struggled in the middle of the season. I want to focus on the end of the season, so bear with me.
Here is the stat line for Weeks from the beginning of the season through July 31, and then his line the final two months.
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I realize those are both small sample sizes, the last two months even more so, but if you could sum up August and September in two words, what would those be?
Now don’t get me wrong–I like Weeks, even though he almost broke my finger back in 2009.
My family was at a game sometime in 2009, and Mike Cameron had just thrown a BP ball to me in the TGI Friday’s outdoor seating area. A short while later, Weeks came up and smashed a laser right at me, 425 feet away. It took the ball two or three seconds to get to me and I stuck my hand up; luckily my aim was a little off and the ball nicked my right index finger, which instantly went numb.
Lucky for me that the ball didn’t strike dead on because I think it would have broken every bone in my hand.
Back to the post…
The Brewers have an 11.5 million dollar option for 2015, but there is no way they are going to pay a platoon player that much.
So here’s what will happen: the Brewers will decline the option and Weeks becomes a free agent. He checks out the market and finds that no one is willing to pay over $10 million for a part-time player.
He then has two choices:
- Resign with the Brewers at a MUCH lower salary (say three-four million), or
- Sign with another team for similar amount, snubbing the Brewers
If Weeks chooses option 2, the Brewers have a few choices of their own: sign a free agent, make a trade, use a minor league call-up to take Weeks’ place.
Here’s a few free agent second baseman available, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts on Baseball Prospectus, with ages in parentheses:
- Emilio Bonifacio (29)
- Alexi Casilla (30)
- Mark Ellis (37)
- Rafael Furcal (37)
- Kelly Johnson (32)
- Nick Punto (36)
- Ramon Santiago (35)
- Ben Zobrist (33)
My pick would be Zobrist, but Tampa Bay has a $7.5 million option for 2015 and might pick up that contract as it is rather cheap for such a talented player such as ‘Zorilla.’
Bonifacio, Casilla, Johnson, and Punto might be viable options.
There could be a few possibilities as the off-season unwinds.
MINOR LEAGUE CALL-UP
Hector Gomez is the only middle infielder on the Brewers 40-man roster that could even be considered to play 2B, even though the vast majority of his playing time has been at shortstop.
WHAT WILL MOST LIKELY HAPPEN
Weeks has made an estimated $44 million in his career, so it’s not like he really needs the money.
Unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse, Rickie should swallow his pride and accept a lower salary with Milwaukee. As we saw this past season, the Brewers do have a team that can compete–they just have to figure out how to do it for 162 games.
And if Weeks stays, he could be part of that.