Rickie Weeks was asked to learn left field and declined

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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:

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.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.