The agreement was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Brewers had not made any formal announcement as of 11 a.m. CT, but one was expected in the early afternoon after Weeks’ physical exam.
Weeks very briefly appeared at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday morning, the date pitchers and catchers formally reported for Spring Training, but was back in street clothes about an hour later and preparing to leave for an off-site physical.
“We’re working, put it like that. I can’t go into detail,” Weeks said.
The total value of the deal was not immediately known, but two national reports — one from FoxSports.com and another from SI.com — called it a five-year, $50 million contract. The details of the fifth year are expected to include some creativity, based on whether Weeks is a regular player during the four guaranteed years.
If finalized, his new contract would cover Weeks’ final arbitration season and at least three years of free agency. Wednesday’s agreement came on the eve of a scheduled arbitration hearing in Phoenix in which Weeks would have sought a raise to $7.2 million. The Brewers countered at $4.85 million.
All winter, Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash and Weeks representative Greg Genske had worked to find common ground on his value. On one hand, Weeks was coming off a breakthrough 2010 season in which having led the Majors in home runs (28), RBIs (81) and runs scored (110) from the leadoff spot while earning $2.75 million. On the other hand, it was Weeks’ first injury-free season in years. He’s had surgery for hand, wrist and knee injuries in his career.
So the Brewers balked when Genske compared Weeks to Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who agreed to a five-year, $62 million extension last month. But slowly but surely, the sides came together.
Weeks wasn’t interested in discussing the process.
“It’s business,” Weeks said. “No matter who you are, no matter how you play this game, you’re going to go through it. I never sat any expectations. I’m one of those guys who takes whatever happens because I know it happens for a reason.”
Weeks said he would have attended Thursday’s arbitration hearing in person had things progressed that far.