Late last night, it was reported that longtime Milwaukee Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks had agreed to a 1 year deal with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners seem sort of a puzzling fit, as they currently employ the highest paid second baseman in the game in Robinson Cano, and Weeks has never played any position besides second base in the majors or minors. However, the financial commitment was minimal for Seattle ($2 mil), and the Mariners apparently plan on using him in left field and at designated hitter, as well. Earlier this offseason I examined how Rickie hurt his free agent value by refusing to accept a utility role with the Brewers last season, and only a $2 mil guarantee for a player of Weeks’ offensive ability seems pretty light. While I would’ve accepted Weeks back in Milwaukee at rate and role that he’ll get in Seattle, it’s likely best for both parties that we all moved on. So let’s say goodbye to Rickie Weeks:
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Weeks won the Golden Spikes Award in 2003 at Southern University, and he owns the highest batting average in NCAA history. The Brewers made him the second overall pick in 2003, dreaming of the superstar player Weeks seemed destined to become. Weeks made his MLB debut for the Brewers in September of 2003, but didn’t become a regular in the majors until 2005.
While he never became a superstar, Rickie Weeks was still among the top 10 second baseman in the game for an extended period of time from 2006-2011. He was rated at 13.5 WAR during that time, and totaled three straight seasons of OPS+ greater than 120 from 2009-2011. His best season was in 2010, when he played a career high 160 games, leading the major leagues with 754 plate appearances. He slashed .269/.366/.464, and posted career highs in hits (175), home runs (29), runs batted in (83), doubles (32), and runs scored (112, second in the NL). He added 11 stolen bases, 76 walks, and was hit by a whooping 25 pitches (tops in the majors that year). He posted an OPS+ of 121, a wRC+ of 127, and was rated at a career high 3.5 WAR. Weeks signed a 4 year, $38 mil extension following the season, and was an All-Star in 2011. It was downhill from that point, however.
Weeks has long struggled with injuries, missing extended time in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013. Following his lone All-Star game in 2011, he suffered a severe ankle sprain that kept him on the DL until September and hampered him down the stretch. His play declined in 2012 and 2013 (-0.4 WAR and -1.0 WAR), until he suffered a torn hamstring in August of 2013. Scooter Gennett took over for Weeks following that injury, and Weeks found himself demoted to platoon duties entering the 2014 season.
Weeks had a relatively successful year in 2014, posting a .274/.357/.452 triple slash in part time duties, covering 286 plate appearances. His production was no doubt boosted by a .355 BABIP, and the majority of his at bats came off of left handed pitchers. Weeks was approached by the team about trying to learn both first base and the outfield, but each time refused. Following the season, the Brewers declined his option, making Weeks a free agent.
1142 games 9
4700 plate appearances 7
.249 batting average T-45
.347 on base percentage T-21
.424 slugging percentage 28
.771 on base plus slugging 25
684 runs scored 6
1009 hits 11
203 2B 10
32 3B 8
148 home runs 12
430 RBI 17
492 BB 5
1102 K 3
126 SB 7
12.3 bWAR 21
Though Weeks never became a superstar, he was still a solid Brewer during his parts of 11 seasons in Milwaukee. It’s fair to wonder how good Weeks could have truly been had injuries not plagued him so heavily during his career. While I’ll admit Rickie Weeks has never been one of my favorite players, we at RtB wish him all the best of luck this year in Seattle and beyond.