Rickie Weeks, the Brewers’ first round pick in the 2003 draft, has not started a game since April 26 and has taken all of 39 plate appearances on the season. The second baseman is owed $11 million, but his declining performance at the plate dating back to 2011, last season’s hamstring injury which cost him about two months, and Scooter Gennett’s comparatively better production have combined to leave Weeks out in the cold.
The Brewers tried to get creative to help Weeks find playing time, but Weeks wasn’t game. Via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
#Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said 2B Rickie Weeks was asked if he’d consider learning how to play LF and Weeks declined.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) May 10, 2014
Weeks will likely become a free agent after the season as his $11.5 million option for 2015 vests only if he accrues 600 plate appearances this season or combines for 1,200 between 2013-14 (he had 399 last season, so this part is irrelevant). Weeks has so much working against him already in terms of leverage in negotiations and the Brewers gave him a great opportunity to make himself a more attractive player. A replacement level second baseman isn’t exactly in demand, but one that can also play the outfield corners in a pinch? That’s how utility guys like Jayson Nix stick around in the big leagues into their mid-30’s.
That’s without mentioning that Weeks should have learned left field simply because the team asked him to do so. However, the Brewers asked rather than demanded, so they can’t be upset that Weeks exercised his free will.