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Rickie Weeks was asked to learn left field and declined

May 10, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers Getty Images

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.

  1. flamethrower101 - May 10, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Yes Weeks exercised his free will. Good for him, yada yada yada…here’s the problem: he can only play second base and his ability on both sides of the plate has plummeted. One would think Weeks would realize this and – at the very least – try it. He may be the worst LF in the game but teams do value players that play multiple positions – even if they suck.

    Weeks will be a free agent at season’s end. He’ll likely not be back with Milwaukee. Some teams might take a look at him but probably as a fallback option and nothing more. It’s a shame that his career has tailed off so drastically.

    • quintjs - May 10, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      Even more so than that, it is easier to find a LF than a 2B. So if I were Weeks I would be looking for as much playing time as possible to get back to being a full time 2B. If you split time between LF and 2B and perform – some team will come along and want to make your their regular 2B.

    • raynman49 - May 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Sounds like what my Mets are looking for. Another bum.

  2. 1harrypairatesties - May 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    This guy will be out of the league soon.

  3. onbucky96 - May 10, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Fine. Tell him to grab an OF glove and tell him to get out there. Don’t release him, make this tool earn his $11.5 million.

  4. westcoastredbird - May 10, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    He was also asked to hit and declined.

  5. gbrim - May 10, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Every team looking for a cheap ‘fallen angel’ type this off-season will realize Weeks’ attitude means he will never be a good comeback candidate.

    In his last year, Mark Grace was riding the bench for the DBacks and they had injuries, an ejection, etc. and were in extra innings, needing an injury replacement at third. He went to the manager and offered to play third base (as a lefty) if they needed him. He was going to borrow a lefty outfielder glove and hope for the best. Brenly moved an OF to third and put a pitcher in the OF instead, but Grace was trying to help. Do what the team needs, when they need it, regardless of your ego and the possibility of looking foolish. Teammates, fans and competitors will respect you for it regardless of the results.

  6. kcroyal - May 10, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    I don’t understand how he has the option to decline. I own a bar and grill and if I asked someone to help out with dishes or bus a table in a pinch and they decilne I’d find a new employee. But my waitresses and cooks don’t make 11 million dollars…so I guess there’s that?

    • gloccamorra - May 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      It depends on your definition of “ask”. If Weeks’ manager said “would you be willing to try shagging a few balls in left?”, he could decline, saying, “I don’t think I can handle the position.” That’s different from his manager pulling a switch and TELLING him, “get out to left field for an inning”, or “shag a few fly balls in left, I may need to put you there for an inning or two” with a doubleheader coming up. Those last two are not optional.

      As for your example, I was a server in a restaurant, and if my boss said, “hey, can you give the busboy a hand clearing the dishes, he’s falling behind”, I’d know full well it wasn’t a declinable request, but a politely worded order.

  7. tuberippin - May 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    So I guess he and his brother Jemile will both be playing in AAA ball in 2015 then.

  8. nottinghamforest13 - May 10, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Man, he got paid. He ain’t gotta learn ta do nuttin’.

  9. pressytodd - May 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Texas should trade for him feilder and weeks have both sucked after the split, atleast weeks has ben injured.

  10. sfm073 - May 11, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    When you have guaranteed contracts you can’t demand anything.

  11. jazynaz - May 11, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    no, the brewers can’t be upset that he exercised free will, but they can sure remember that he declined to play LF, and so will every other team when milwaukee cuts him.

  12. shepwp1 - May 11, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Sorry, but I don’t get it. If I was paid $11 million and the Brewers asked me to sell peanuts for the good of the team, I’d be all over it. Rickie just doesn’t get it. The Brewers have been very gracious to him and I wish he would’ve reciprocated. That’s ok, only one more season and he can move on.

  13. bigmeechy74 - May 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    So people are out there busting their asses for minimum wage and he says “nah. I’ll decline. I don’t feel like shagging fly balls.” Cool guy

  14. sportsfan18 - May 11, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    MO RON…

  15. tony122992 - May 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Somebody please start a petition for the removal of Rickie Weeks from Milwaukee. One sour apple in that locker room can unravel the season overnight.

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