After 10 years in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform and another two in the minor league system, Rickie Weeks’ time in Milwaukee is likely over as the team declined his option for 2015, making him a free agent.
Weeks would have seen a modest raise to $11.5 million in 2015, after making $11 million in 2014, but that is too much for a bench player. The report of the Brewers declining his option comes by way of Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors.
The Brewers selected Weeks second overall in the 2003 MLB draft and by 2005 he was a fixture in the team’s major league lineup finishing 6th in Rookie of the Year voting. Injuries and an eventual platoon with Scooter Gennett limited Weeks throughout his entire career.
Only twice did he make it to 130 games in a season, with 160 in 2010 and 157 in 2010. Weeks boasts a career batting line of .249/.347/.424, which is pretty good for a second baseman.
In 2014 in a platoon and pinch hitter role, Weeks hit .274/.357/.452, which were all among the best marks of his career, thanks to his platoon advantage.
Weeks however is still a negative with his glove. His hands have gotten better over the years according to FanGraphs, but his range has been reduced and his double play ability has slowed down.
It is a very thin crop available at second base in the 2014 with names like Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Ellis, Dan Uggla, Rafael Furcal, Kelly Johnson, Ben Zobrist and Ramon Santiago hitting the free agent wire.
The only one of those that is more attractive an option than Weeks is Ben Zobrist, who has build himself a very nice career in the unfriendly confines in Tampa.
For the Brewers, $11.5 million is just too much money to play a platoon second baseman who can’t (or won’t) play any other infield positions. That money can be applied to the team’s other needs, but in my opinion they’ll still need to find a platoon partner for Scooter Gennett.
Gennett’s numbers against left handed pitching dropped every time he moved up a level in the minors, and they dropped even further in his opportunities against lefties in the majors.
And while I like Gennett, I’m not ready to give him sole possession of second base for the 2015 season. Somebody like Hector Gomez in the Brewers farm system could be useful to the Crew playing second base against left handed pitching, and filling in at third or short as necessary.