Milwaukee Brewers Rumors: New York Yankees Monitoring Rickie Weeks

By Tim Muma
Rickie Weeks
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Word came out Wednesday that the New York Yankees are keeping tabs on a number of infielders during the spring, and one of those individuals was the Milwaukee BrewersRickie Weeks.

For the record, he looks pretty good in pinstripes.

With aspirations of a postseason berth and some solid on the hill and in the outfield, the Yankees’ are understandably concerned about their patchwork group of infielders. A myriad of factors contributed to the Yankees’ piecemeal operation, including the suspension of Alex Rodriguez, the departure of second basemen Robinson Cano, and even the uncertainty about Derek Jeter‘s durability and effectiveness.

At the same time, the Yankees are in win-now mode after the acquisitions of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka. Normally when committing to $433 million to four players, a team wants a championship (or two) immediately.

However, the current infield boasts Brian Roberts and Brendan Ryan at second base, with Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez manning third. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of ballplayers you’d expect to find on a true contender.

So despite Weeks’ obvious shortcomings, New York may see the Brewers’ second sacker as a safer play with more upside.

For one, Roberts is hurt more often than Weeks. In the past four seasons, he’s played a total of 192 games. And while he is a switch-hitter, Roberts is far better from the left side. This would make Weeks attractive as a platoon partner at second, even though there’s no evidence to show he could be an effective player in that role over the course of a full season.

Meanwhile, Ryan could be the right-handed version of that platoon, but he’s been an awful hitter throughout his career, owning a .299 OBP and .320 slugging percentage.

Ryan’s real value is on defense, and especially at shortstop. Chances are, he could see about half the season filling in for Jeter. Expect Jeter to get regular days off, time spent as the DH, and at least one stint on the disabled list, meaning New York will need Ryan’s glove at short quite often.

In Milwaukee, Weeks really should take a back seat to Scooter Gennett, and that could be problematic for both of them. Plus, I still don’t believe Weeks can be productive as a bench bat. The Yankees might be willing to experiment out of desperation.

Then there’s the issue of Weeks’ $11 million cost this season. With Rodriguez’s money off the books for 2014 and only a vesting option remaining for Weeks next season, the Yanks would be committing to just one year of an overpaid player.

If they’re willing to take on most of his contract, the Brewers wouldn’t need more than “just a guy” in order to complete the deal. If Milwaukee wants a player with more potential impact, they’d have to eat more of them money. Even saving just a few million could give the Brewers wiggle room at the trade deadline.

If Weeks can get off to a hot start in spring (2-for-3 in the opener), it could be enough to convince general manager Brian Cashman to make an offer for the Brewers’ veteran. The Brewers would be wise to find a deal that works and do it quickly. It will be best for all parties.

Tim Muma is a Milwaukee Brewers writer for Follow him on  Twitter @brewersblend, “Like” him  on Facebook, or add him  to your network on Google.

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