Rickie Weeks is Hurting His Free Agent Value

kylewl22
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Twelve long years have passed since the Brewers drafted Rickie Weeks number two overall out of Southern University in 2003 and gave him a $3.6 mil bonus. Weeks’ long tenure with Milwaukee likely came to a close after this season, when the Brewers declined his contract option and granted Rickie free agency.

The interest in Weeks on the open market has been tepid to this point amidst the boiling Hot Stove that has been this MLB offseason. The Cardinals were interested in Weeks at one point as a backup infielder, but they eventually settled on former Brewer Mark Reynolds.

The fact remains that Weeks is a 32 year old second basemen that has no other positional experience on the diamond. He’s posted a negative dWAR in nine of his ten full seasons with the Brewers. He’s struggled with injuries throughout his career and his OPS dropped each successive season from 2009-2013.

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Weeks proved he could be a valuable bat off the bench with a .274/.357/.452 line in 286 plate appearances last season, and at this point in his career it is likely Weeks is not much more than a bat off the bench going forward.

Though Weeks can still produce as a part time player, the thing that kills his value is his refusal to play any positions other than second base. Entrenched in a platoon with Scooter Gennett (who recently discussed being the everyday second baseman) this past season, Weeks was approached about the possibility of playing other positions in order to increase his playing time. In a move I can’t describe as any way other than selfish, Weeks’ response was:

“I’m a second basemen. I feel like right now I should be playing second base.”

Manager Ron Roenicke apparently had conversations with Rickie last season about the possibility of playing first base (and trying to put out the two year dumpster fire that hopefully ended with the Adam Lind trade) or in the outfield (where Khris Davis was struggling early on and was an unproven commodity and Ryan Braun dealt with injury). Ron received a rather curt response.

“He does not want to do it,” Roenicke said. When asked if he thought moving Weeks could be beneficial for the club, he added “Yeah. I’ll leave it at that.”

Many teams would love to add a right handed utility player that has the power potential and plate discipline Rickie Weeks has shown throughout his career. Were this the situation, Rickie would be an excellent fit to return to Milwaukee and pair at second with Scooter again while providing depth in the outfield and first base.

Weeks, however, continues to view himself as an everyday second basemen. His steadfast and selfish refusal to open his positional horizons hurt the Brewers last season and will hurt Rickie’s career going forward. Unless Weeks can take a reality check and become a utility player, he may continue to find himself without a home as winter drags on.

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