Brewers optimistic about reaching deals with Weeks, Marcum

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The Brewers have already settled on salaries for 2011 with arbitration-eligible players Prince Fielder ($15.5M), Carlos Gomez ($1.5M), Kameron Loe ($1.25M) and Manny Parra ($1.2M).

They have only two unsettled cases: Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum.

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers expect to reach agreements with both within the next few days.

Weeks requested $7.2 million and was offered $4.85 million when figures were exchanged earlier this month.  A 28-year-old with a decent glove and decent range at second base, he batted .269/.366/.464 with a career-high 29 home runs and 83 RBI last season.

Marcum asked for $5 million and was offered $3 million from the Brewers.  The right-hander posted a 13-8 record, 3.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 31 starts last season for the Blue Jays, striking out 165 batters against only 43 walks while pitching in baseball’s toughest division.  He was acquired this offseason for top infield prospect Brett Lawrie in a trade that should work out well for both sides.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.