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Rickie Weeks’ deal with Brewers worth at least $38.5 million and as much as $50 million

Feb 16, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

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There were varying reports about the specifics of Rickie Weeks‘ contract extension with Milwaukee, but now the Brewers have announced the details.

It’s officially a four-year contract worth $38.5 million, but the deal also includes an $11.5 million option for 2015 that vests if Weeks has 600 plate appearances in 2014 or a total of 1,200 plate appearances between 2013 and 2014.

In other words, if he stays healthy and productive for the entire contract it’s a five-year, $50 million deal and if not it’s a four-year, $38.5 million deal. And since Weeks has logged 600 plate appearances just once in six seasons, the latter is definitely more likely.

Weeks likely would have settled for around $6 million in his third and final season of arbitration eligibility, so the Brewers are essentially buying out his first three years of free agency for about $32.5 million. If he plays like he did in 2010–hitting .269 with 29 homers, 112 runs, and an .830 OPS that ranked fifth among all second basemen–then they’re getting a bargain. However, he averaged just 95 games per season from 2005-2009, including missing all but 37 games with a wrist injury in 2009, and has a .784 career OPS.

For comparison Dan Uggla–who was one of the four second basemen with a higher OPS than Weeks last season but is also three years older–recently signed a five-year, $62 million extension with the Braves that covered his final season of arbitration and first four years of free agency. I’d rather have Weeks for $38.5 million over four years or $50 million over five years than Uggla for $62 million over five years, so it’s certainly a worthwhile gamble by Milwaukee.

  1. Brian Murphy - Feb 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I like this deal much more now than I did about five hours ago.

  2. dickclydesdale - Feb 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Wow! 50 million for a mediocre .269 hitter, talk about pissing away money.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      Wow! Referencing batting average in 2011, talk about pissing away progress.

      • Chris K - Feb 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        What’s wrong with referencing batting average? Singles can advance a runner more than one base.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 16, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        Singles are valuable, but BA leaves a whole lot out of the picture. Walks, power, speed, defense, etc.

  3. Ari Collins - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Even if you think that 2010 will never happen again for Weeks (possible, certainly, though there’s a good chance he has at least one more great year, and who knows, maybe more), he’s been about a 2-win player even when hurt, and that’s all the contract pays for. Plus, the guy’s only 28, so a sharp decline is less likely.

    tl;dr: Fair contract with the upside of a potential bargain contract.

  4. huskerguy - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Now can we find a different SS? Please?? With sugar on top???!??!!!

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