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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weeks Signs 4 Year Extension With Brewers, Avoids Arbitration on Eve of Hearing

With an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, the Brewers announced today that they've signed Rickie Weeks to a four year $38.5 million extension with an $11.5 million option for 2015. If he fails to be an everyday player in 2013 and 2014 the club can decline his fifth year (needs 600 plate appearances in 2014, or 1200 in 2013 and 2014 combined). This is great news for fans worried that the Crew might lose the right side of their infield after 2011 with Weeks and Prince Fielder both scheduled for free agency.

In a previous post I asked "How much is Rickie Worth?" It seems we now have our answer, at least as far as the Brewers are concerned. If in the next couple of years he can build on his 2010 breakout season, this contract will end up being a bargain for the Brewers. Keep in mind the contract Dan Uggla signed this winter for $62 million over five years.

Hopefully 2010 marks the year Weeks figured out how to stay healthy over the course of a 162 game season. Personally I found five years to be a risky commitment for a player who's managed to play the whole season in only one of his five years of Major League service. Thankfully the sides built into the contract the expectation that he remain healthy and productive for years to come. If he fails to live up to expectations the club won't be forced to write off $12.5 million in 2015. Overall, this is a quality signing and I'm glad to see the Brewers continuing attempts to lock up their young talent for the future.

CONTRACT DETAILS (courtesy of Tom Haudricourt):
2011: $4 million signing bonus with $3.5 million salary
2012: $10 million
2013: $10 million
2014: $11 million
Weeks will make $11.5 million in 2015 if he meets the above criteria and finishes 2014 healthy. If he fails to reach these criteria but has 400 plate appearances in 2014 the Brewers will pay him $1 million.

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