Rickie Weeks Rumors

Brewers, Weeks No Longer Talking Multiyear Deal

TUESDAY, 6:06pm: MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that the two sides have "mutually agreed to change courses and focus on a one-year deal for 2011." Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash said they'll "try to get something done for this year and then continue to talk longer-term and use this as a placeholder, perhaps."

MONDAY, 10:12pm: The Brewers and Rickie Weeks are scheduled to exchange contract figures tomorrow but the two sides continue to focus on hammering out a multiyear deal, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Assistant GM Gord Ash says that all of the talks that he's had with Weeks' agent, Greg Genske, have been for multiyear deals.

"We've focused exclusively on a multi-year deal," Ash explained. "We've never discussed a one-year deal. I'm not concerned about it. One way or the other, it will get resolved."

The two sides have swapped proposals over the past few weeks but Ash says that he doesn't feel that a deal is near.  Last month, the talks were characterized as "productive".  This is Weeks' final arbitration eligible year as he will become a free agent after the 2011 season.

Haudricourt writes that one of the difficulties in reaching a deal with Weeks is that its tough to find a comparable for him.  The second baseman has missed a great deal of time due to injury but stayed healthy in 2010 and hit .269/.366/.464 with 29 homers.  Dan Uggla signed a five-year, $62MM deal in his final year of arbitration but Ash says that he isn't a true comparable due to his years of hitting for power.

While Milwaukee looks to hammer out a multiyear deal with Weeks, GM Doug Melvin has taken the opposite approach with Prince Fielder.  Melvin tried to work out a multiyear deal last year with agent Scott Boras but couldn't make any headway.  The GM declined to comment when asked if he'll again try to workout a multiyear deal with his star slugger.


Brewers Rumors: Weeks, Capuano, Francis, Webb

The Brewers have had some trade discussions about Prince Fielder, and inquired on Matt Garza. Here are the rest of the details on the Crew:

  • The Brewers had "productive" talks with Rickie Weeks' representatives about a potential extension, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Assistant GM Gord Ash says the sides have "reason to continue to talk" to Weeks, who can become a free agent after the 2011 season.
  • GM Doug Melvin told Haudricourt that he intends to meet with the agent for Craig Counsell and work a deal out soon. The Brewers have made the veteran infielder more than one proposal. 
  • The Brewers have another offer out to Chris Capuano and are waiting to hear from him. 
  • Manager Ron Roenicke says the team would like to pair Jonathan Lucroy with a veteran catcher next year, according to Haudricourt (Twitter link).
  • The Brewers seem hesitant to commit to a pitcher coming back from an injury, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
  • Melvin says the Brewers haven't called the agent for Jeff Francis, though they've been linked to the left-hander repeatedly. The team scouted Brandon Webb, but their level of interest in the former Cy Young Award winner seems low.
  • The Brewers have had discussions with the Braves, but Melvin says he doesn't have any ongoing talks with Atlanta.

Brewers Notes: Weeks, Free Agency, Trades

We've already heard that the Brewers are leaning toward keeping Prince Fielder this offseason. Here are the rest of the day's Brewers rumors:

  • Rickie Weeks is open to discussing an extension with the Brewers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported yesterday that the Brewers were set to start talking about a potential deal with the second baseman.
  • The Brewers will not pursue free agent starters aggressively, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Instead, they'll look to add pitching through trades. Acquiring top starters without dealing Fielder will be a major challenge for GM Doug Melvin.


Heyman On Weeks, Matsui, Pujols

SI's Jon Heyman is gathering all kinds of information at the GM Meetings; here's the latest…

  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin will talk to second baseman Rickie Weeks today about a possible extension, tweets Heyman.  The arbitration eligible Weeks is one year away from free agency.
  • Heyman tweets that the White Sox are talking to free agent designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who would fit as one of two lefty bats they hope to acquire.  The Sox have already had preliminary discussions with Adam Dunn's agent.  Heyman says the Cubs have not appeared to be big suitors for Dunn so far.
  • Regarding Albert Pujols, Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt does not want to repeat Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM contract.  In fact, he believes the Yankees would retract A-Rod's deal if they could.  Heyman floated an eight-year, $240MM deal to DeWitt, who questioned the $30MM salary.
  • Expensive closers Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Cordero are on the trade market, with the Red Sox and Reds willing to kick in money.  Still, Heyman sees the Red Sox retaining Papelbon, whose trade market is weak.
  • Heyman could see something around three years and $57MM for Derek Jeter.
  • Heyman believes the Orioles are looking at Paul Konerko and/or Adrian Beltre for their corner infield openings.

Rosenthal On Brewers, Doubront, Marlins, Barmes

In case there was any doubt, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Brewers aren't going to trade Ryan Braun. However, the Brewers are open to trading any of their other top hitters for rotation help. That means Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee and, of course, Prince Fielder would be available in the right deal. Here are the details and the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:

  • The Brewers don't want to trade top players for back-of-the-rotation starters, but teams are reluctant to include top young pitchers in potential deals.
  • The Padres have spoken repeatedly to the Brewers about minor league infielder Brett Lawrie, who could be obtained for young pitching.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is still drawing trade interest, even though he won't be ready to swing a bat until the end of Spring Training.
  • Two GMs tell Rosenthal that the Red Sox are open to trading Felix Doubront. One says Boston would part with the left-hander "in a heartbeat" and the other guaranteed the Red Sox will trade him by mid-summer. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Rosenthal that the Red Sox "value Felix tremendously" and that the report "couldn't be further from the truth."
  • Every young Orioles pitcher "could be in play for the right bat," Rosenthal reports. 
  • If the Marlins trade Dan Uggla, they would use the savings to sign at least one free agent. John Buck is a target for the Marlins regardless of whether they trade or extend Uggla.
  • The A's don't have interest in Mark Reynolds.
  • The Rockies are drawing lots of interest in Clint Barmes. They could trade or non-tender the infielder if they aren't able to sign him to a multi-year contract.
  • Cody Ross and Javier Lopez are strong candidates to receive extensions from the Giants.

Odds & Ends: Weeks, Blue Jays, Daisuke, Vazquez

Links for Wednesday, after a roller coaster win by Joey Votto and the Reds…


Odds & Ends: Weeks, Cliff Lee, Cody Ross

Four years ago today, the Devil Rays traded Russell Branyan to the Padres for Evan Meek and a player to be named later (Dale Thayer).  Meek would be taken from the Rays by the Pirates in the '07 Rule 5 draft but was designated for assignment the following May.  Meek cleared waivers and the Rays rejected his return, taking cash considerations from the Bucs.  This year, Meek represented the Pirates at the All-Star game.  Today's links:

  • Rickie Weeks chose Greg Genske of Legacy Sports as his new agent after his previous representative, Lon Babby, became president of the Phoenix Suns, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • A Mets official told ESPN's Adam Rubin the team won't be pursuing Cliff Lee in the offseason.
  • Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans confirmed to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that they claimed Cody Ross in part to block him from going to the Padres.
  • Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia talked to WEEI's Rob Bradford about why they signed long-term extensions.  Youkilis knows he could've made more as a free agent after this season, but he points out that he's making more money than he ever thought he would.  Youk believes players should go through arbitration at least once, as he did.  For more on players who would've been eligible for free agency after this season had they not signed extensions, check out our August 16th article.
  • Bradford's colleague Alex Speier looks at Boston's recent history of acquiring players despite being included in their no-trade clauses.
  • Joe Posnanski explains that pitchers with Hall of Fame stuff getting beaten by injuries is the rule, not the exception.

Brewers Looking At Keepers, May Try To Trade Fielder

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt has some updates for Brewers fans as the organization looks to the future. It appears that Corey Hart's recent three-year extension may only be the beginning as the Brew Crew tries to set itself up for future success.

The Brewers will offer an extension to Rickie Weeks, who's enjoying a fine rebound season after an injury-shortened 2009. The former number-two overall pick is hitting .272/.368/.485 with 23 home runs and seven steals on the year. His speed numbers may be down, but Weeks still remains a power/speed combination and an offensive force at second base. Weeks will need to replace his agent, and once he accomplishes that, an extension will be offered.

One player who the Brewers likely won't be able to agree with is Prince Fielder. The Scott Boras client was offered an extension in the neighborhood of five years and $100MM, but the Brewers completely cut off talks when they learned he was seeking nearly double that amount — likely looking for a deal similar to Mark Teixeira's eight-year, $180MM contract. Haudricourt says that the Brewers won't advertise it for now, but they're likely to shop Fielder this offseason to bolster their rotation.

Losing Fielder leaves a hole in the offense, but it's possible the club is looking to replace him with Mat Gamel, or move Hart to first base and place Gamel in right field. As Haudricourt points out, Hart was drafted as a first baseman, and his 6'6" frame is conducive to the position.

It's possible that Lorenzo Cain dethrones Carlos Gomez as the club's everyday center fielder. The Brewers were clearly looking for more than Gomez's .286 OBP when they traded J.J. Hardy to Minnesota for him this past offseason.

If Milwaukee does indeed try to make Fielder available, there will be no shortage of suitors. While the free agent market does feature Adam Dunn, the majority of others consist of injury risks, fading stars, players coming off career years, or some combination of the three.


Brewers Have Discussed Extension With Weeks

Asked whether he's discussed an extension with Rickie Weeks, Brewers GM Doug Melvin replied in the affirmative.  Melvin added that he told Weeks last night about Corey Hart's new deal.  Weeks' agent Lon Babby was recently named president of basketball operations of the Phoenix Suns, but Melvin said that situation is between Babby and Weeks.

Weeks, 28 in September, has finally combined performance and health in 2010.  He's got a .276/.375/.488 line on the season, and with 22 home runs he trails only Dan Uggla among second basemen.  Weeks is earning $2.75MM this season, and should get a big raise for his final arbitration year in 2011 if an extension is not reached beforehand.


Brewers Listening On Prince Fielder, Corey Hart

The Brewers are listening to offers on Prince Fielder and Corey Hart, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The tweet echoes a similar report by Jeff Fletcher of AOL FanHouse, though Olney suggests that the Brewers have no interest in moving Rickie Weeks.

Fletcher reported that the Brewers were entertaining offers for Fielder because they don't expect to be able to re-sign him when he hits free agency in 2011. Olney offers similar thoughts in two more tweets, indicating there's a very slim chance Milwaukee could afford to lock up the Scott Boras client to an extension. Boras figures to be looking for a contract larger, in both years and dollars, than Ryan Howard's five-year, $125MM deal. Earlier this season, Fielder and Boras turned down an extension offer similar to Howard's, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, the Giants have been the team most frequently linked to Hart, though the last rumor we heard had the Brewers asking for more than San Francisco was willing to pay. Hart will earn $4.8MM this year, while Fielder is making $10.5MM. Each player will be eligible for arbitration for the last time in 2011 before becoming free agents.

In a final tweet, Olney adds that David Bush could also be an interesting trade chip for the Brew Crew if they go into sell mode. Bush, who will be eligible for free agency this winter, has a 4.23 ERA in 17 outings this year, including a 2.74 mark since his seven-run blow-up in Minnesota on May 21st.