Rickie Weeks can add his name to an already shallow list of free agent second baseman, as the 32 year old’s option for 2015 has been declined by the Milwaukee Brewers. The team announced the decision Friday morning.
Milwaukee had originally selected Weeks with the 2nd overall pick in the 2003 Draft (Tampa Bay selected Delmon Young first in what has become a largely underwhelming 1st Round) and by 2005 he had worked his way onto the big league roster, finishing 6th in NL Rookie of the Year voting. By 2007 he’d stepped into the team’s starting lineup.
From there Weeks became one of the better second baseman in the game, a conclusion based more on the void of talent at the position than on his actual numbers directly. Over the next six seasons – including his injury shortened 2009 campaign – he’d hit .249/.351/.437 while averaging 22 doubles, 18 home runs, and 14 stolen bases a year. The 2010 season was individually one of his best. In a league-high 754 plate appearances he’d hit .269/.366/.464, with a career high 32 doubles and 29 home runs.
Things started going downhill beginning in 2013, however. Weeks’ production at the plate was no longer consistent and alternate options on the Brewers’ roster began to see more playing time. This past season the struggles hit their peak. Weeks lost the starting second baseman’s job to Scooter Gennett and found himself as nothing more than a part time player. He’d get into 121 games in 2014 but only saw 286 plate appearances. He’d hit .274/.357/.452 in limited duty, but the writing was on the wall regarding his future with the Brewers.
Weeks’ option for 2015 would have been valued at $11.5 million – too pricey for a mid-market club like Milwaukee to absorb for a bench player.
The free agent class of second baseman is a weak one this offseason. With Brian Roberts retiring, Emilio Bonifacio offering little upside offensively, and the Rays likely to exercise their option on Ben Zobrist, Weeks may actually look to be the most appealing option available.