Results tagged ‘ Rickie Weeks ’

Gomez out with stiff back

Center fielder Carlos Gomez is the latest Brewers regular to show up on the injury report. He was supposed to start Monday’s game against the Giants, but complained of a stiff back so Brandon Boggs is playing instead. 

It’s a minor setback, but those have been piling up for the Brewers. Of the nine projected Opening Day starters, seven have lost at least a handful of Cactus League innings to a medical issue. Pitcher Zack Greinke (cracked rib), catcher Jonathan Lucroy (fractured finger) and right fielder Corey Hart (rib-cage strain) have not played at all because of more serious injuries, and second baseman Rickie Weeks (groin), shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (right quadriceps), left fielder Ryan Braun (rib-cage strain) and now Gomez have come out of a game early or missed a start as a precaution. Plus, closer John Axford got a late start because of food poisoning.
First baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Casey McGehee have been able to stay on their schedules. 
Perspective is in order, because none of the setbacks in Brewers camp have threatened a player’s season. Betancourt left Sunday’s game early, but he could be back in action as early as Tuesday. Braun returned to the lineup Monday after exiting Saturday with his rib strain. Weeks’ groin issue seems to have passed. Hart is making significant progress in recent days and was to begin swinging a bat on Monday. Lucroy will have the pin in his finger removed next week and is on track for Opening Day. 
Maybe the Brewers are just getting their injuries out of the way early. Better now than during the regular season. 
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Extra caution with Weeks

Considering how many other players have been bitten by injuries in Brewers camp, you can’t blame the club for playing it very safe with second baseman Rickie Weeks.
Weeks has been getting treatment for a tight groin and played only two innings Thursday after taking the previous two days off. Manager Ron Roenicke said there was no setback, but he was just being cautious. 
“He’s fine, and Rickie says, ‘No problem,’ but the trainer said if you can get him out early, let’s get him out early,” Roenicke said. “He’s fine. I don’t want any more injuries. … Rickie is not going to play easy. So if I tell Rickie to go out there and, hey, just don’t run hard, it’s not going to happen.” 
Weeks will probably be off Friday before playing again Saturday against the D-backs, Roenicke said. 
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AP: Weeks deal guanatees $38.5 million

According to the Associated Press’ Colin Fly, Rickie Weeks’ new deal with the Brewers guarantees $38.5 million over the next four years includes an option for 2015 that could increase the value to $50 million

A source told the AP that the option could vest under certain conditions. Earlier in the day, FoxSports.com reported that the Brewers could void the option if Weeks is not an everyday player in 2013 and 2014.
Weeks is up in the Brewers’ offices at Maryvale Baseball Park as of this writing finalizing paperwork. He’s already passed a physical exam. 
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Plate appearances could pay off for Weeks

Agent Greg Genske arrived at Maryvale Baseball Park this afternoon to sign his portion of Rickie Weeks’ contract extension, a deal that will keep Weeks in a Brewers uniform for at least the next four years and potentially five. 

The only trouble was figuring out what to call it. The Brewers, in their official announcement, termed it a four-year contract with a vesting option. Genske called it a five-year contract. 
That fifth year will only become guaranteed if Weeks makes at least 600 plate appearances in the fourth year — 2014 — or 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14. He must also finish 2014 healthy, or, if he’s injured, get certification from a doctor that he will be ready for 2015. 
“I think it’s an ultimate compromise,” said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who handled negotiations with Genske. “Greg had always talked to us about the need to do five guaranteed years, and we had always talked about the need to do four years plus a vesting option.”
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Weeks mum on agreement

The Brewers have reached a tentative agreement with second baseman Rickie Weeks on a contract extension that guarantees four seasons and could extend to a fifth, but the player was mum on the topic Wednesday morning. 

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.
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Brewers, Weeks talking 3-5 years

The Brewers and a representative for second baseman Rickie Weeks have been kicking around ideas about a contract extension that would span 3-5 years, a source told FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal on Tuesday. 
Weeks remains unsigned and faces an arbitration hearing on Thursday if the sides cannot reach terms on a new contract. They have bounced between discussions on a multi-year extension for Weeks, who is currently on track to reach free agency after the 2011 season, and a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. 
The Brewers’ preference, especially because first baseman Prince Fielder is also entering his final year of arbitration, is the multi-year extension. The trouble is finding a proper value for Weeks, who is coming off a breakthrough 2010 season but before that struggled with various injuries. 
Weeks, who earned $2.75 million last season, filed for a raise to $7.2 million in arbitration. The Brewers countered at $4.85 million. 
The Weeks camp, led by agent Greg Genske, has not returned reporters’ calls for comment. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash has been the team’s point man on the Weeks talks, and told Rosenthal earlier Tuesday that the sides were, “making progress. We’re not done yet. We’re inching our way.” 
A three-year deal would buy out two of Weeks’ free agent seasons. The team struck a similar agreement last summer with right fielder Corey Hart, who inked a three-year, $26 million extension in early August. 
A five-year deal would no doubt prompt some comparisons to the Braves’ recent five-year, $62 million agreement with second baseman Dan Uggla. Both Weeks and Uggla ended last season with five-plus years of Major League service and were coming off comparable 2010 campaigns. But the difference, Brewers officials say, is that Uggla has been remarkably productive over all five of his seasons in the big leagues, while Weeks’ output has been hampered by hand and wrist injuries. 
If the Brewers and Genske are unable to agree, they would square-off in a hearing room on Thursday in Phoenix. Both sides would present a case to a three-member panel of judges, which would select one figure or the other in a ruling rendered Friday. 
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Brewers, Weeks still talking extension

With Shaun Marcum under wraps, the Brewers lone unsigned arbitration-eligible player is second baseman Rickie Weeks, and the sides are still working toward a multi-year extension that would buy out some of his free agent seasons. 

So said general manager Doug Melvin to former beat cohort Anthony Witrado, who recently moved from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to The Sporting News. 
“We’ll get a better sense of where we are in the next couple of days,” Melvin told Witrado on Thursday. “We still have a little bit of time. We’re always optimistic we can get something done, and we’re still engaged in multiyear talks. If we don’t [get that done] then we have to focus on this year.”
Weeks’ arbitration hearing is scheduled for Thursday of next week. He filed for $7.2 million in 2011 and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million. Weeks earned $2.75 million during 2010, a breakout season thanks to a full year of good health.
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On eve of hearing, Marcum still unsigned

As the hours tick away, the possibility grows that the first opponent of right-hander Shaun Marcum’s Brewers career will be the Brewers themselves. 
Marcum’s agent, Rex Gary, and Brewers senior director of business operations Teddy Werner have so far been unable to reach an agreement with Brewers on a 2011 contract for his client. If the sides remain deadlocked they would face off in an arbitration hearing that’s believed to be set for Thursday in Phoenix. 
Marcum, acquired from the Blue Jays in early December, filed for $5 million as a second-time arbitration-eligible player. The Brewers offered $3 million. 
Gary traveled to Phoenix on Wednesday and did not return messages this week from MLB.com. Werner said he remained hopeful of avoiding the hearing room. 
“We’ve been working very hard in the event we’re in a position of arguing the case in front of panel of arbitrators,” Werner said. “But I have learned that in a lot of these cases you have to let the process play out. In 2008, I think we settled with J.J. Hardy only 24 hours before a hearing was scheduled. In 2009 with Corey Hart, we settled about day before. Then last year, we went to a hearing with Corey. 
“We have still not come to an agreement with Shaun, but you have to let the process play out. Every negotiation is a separate animal. Right now, we don’t have a deal, but we’re hopeful we’ll put one in place and if not, we’ll go to the hearing room.” 
Like last year’s hearing with outfielder Corey Hart, the Brewers would use outside counsel to argue their case on Thursday. A three-member panel of judges would hear arguments from both sides, then issue a ruling on Friday. They would choose one salary filing or the other, and would not be required to explain the decision. 
The first case of 2011 was decided Wednesday, when the arbitrators ruled in favor of Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. 
The 29-year-old Marcum cost the Brewers their top offensive prospect, Brett Lawrie, and will be part of a remade starting rotation that includes three 2010 Opening Day starters with Marcum, Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo. After missing all of 2009 while rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery, Marcum bounced-back to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts and 195 1/3 innings in 2010, impressive numbers in the tough American League East. He earned $850,000 last season. 
This isn’t exactly the way the Brewers wanted to begin their relationship with Marcum. But it’s just business, Werner said. 
“In a perfect world, we would have a deal with Shaun before we have to go into a hearing,” Werner said. “We’re still working on coming up with the appropriate salary for him.”
Marcum is one of two arbitration-eligible Brewers players still unsigned. The other is second baseman Rickie Weeks, who has a hearing scheduled for Feb. 17. 
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Weeks sets deadline for contract talks

Brewers officials say they aren’t worried about second baseman Rickie Weeks self-imposed start of Spring Training deadline for talks between his agent and the club about a contract extension.
Weeks is in his final winter of arbitration eligibility and could reach free agency following the 2011 season if the sides cannot reach an agreement on an extension. He doesn’t want to be distracted by those discussions after reporting to Maryvale Baseball Park later this month.
“After Spring Training [begins], I want to focus on the year and the team,” Weeks said.
But that deadline didn’t bother Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who has been handling discussions with agent Greg Genske regarding Weeks. 
Ash and Genske were believed to have tabled multi-year talks to focus on a one-year deal on Jan. 18, when Weeks filed for $7.2 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $4.85 million. But Ash said Sunday at “Brewers On Deck” that the multi-year talks were never totally abandoned, and that the sides have had “parallel” discussions all along in hopes of avoiding an arbitration hearing that is scheduled for Feb. 17. 
“I think the process creates a deadline, to some degree,” Ash said. “We continue to talk about all kinds of different things, ever since the first of December. I don’t see [Weeks' deadline] as an issue at all. …
“In fact, I’m glad he said that, because that’s the way it should be. Once you get on the field, that’s where your focus needs to be.”
The gap in Weeks’ filing figure and the Brewers’ is $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million.
Ash said that if the talks swing toward a multi-year agreement, a deal could be struck very quickly. 
“We’re still talking,” Ash said. “That’s good news when you’re still talking. … There have been multi-year deals of significance done in a half-hour. You know what the market is and you have willingness on both sides, they’re actually pretty easy to do if there’s an understandoing of that the ‘deal zone’ is.”
The trouble with Weeks has been finding that zone. On one hand he’s coming off his best season,having led the Majors in home runs (28), RBIs (81) and runs scored (110) from the leadoff spot. On the other hand, it was Weeks’ first injury-free season in years.
Weeks said he’d spoken to Ash and general manager Doug Melvin and expressed his interest in an extension. The more difficult part is reaching an agreement.
“I can’t say if I’m disappointed or not,” Weeks said. “It is what it is. Of course, I’m a Brewer this year and that’s all that matters. I’m happy for the team. They made some great moves this year to help us get to that next level and go deep into the playoffs. It sounds good on paper, but we have to work it out.”
Weeks is one of two arbitration-eligible Brewers still unsigned. The other is pitcher Shaun Marcum, who is seeking $5 million in 2011. The Brewers countered at $3 million. Marcum’s hearing is scheduled for the week of Feb. 7.
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Quiet on Weeks, Marcum fronts

Brewers officials say they are making steady but slow progress with their two remaining arbitration-eligible players, and will get a chance to chat in person with second baseman Rickie Weeks and right-hander Shaun Marcum at Sunday’s “Brewers On Deck” event. 
Neither assistant general manager Gord Ash, who is handling talks with Weeks agent Greg Genske, nor senior director of business operations Teddy Werner, who is engaged with agent Rex Gary on Marcum, could report any breakthroughs this week. 
“We continue to have dialogue but nothing new to report,” Ash wrote in an e-mail Thursday morning, when club officials were meeting with manager Ron Roenicke and the Brewers’ new coaching staff at Miller Park. 
 
Weeks and Genske filed for $7.2 million in arbitration and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. 
Weeks earned $2.75 million in 2010 and had a breakthrough year, leading the Majors in home runs (28), RBIs (81) and runs scored (110) from the leadoff spot. But his case is complicated because many of Weeks’ previous seasons had been marred by injuries, especially to his hands and wrists. 
Marcum earned $850,000 from the Blue Jays in 2010 and also enjoyed a career year, returning from a year lost to Tommy John elbow surgery to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts. The Brewers acquired him in early December for top prospect Brett Lawrie. 
Marcum and Gary filed for $5 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $3 million. 
“I would say [talks] have been productive, and I have a very good history with Rex Gary, who also represents Dave Bush,” said Werner, referring to the former Brewers right-hander who settled with the team last winter well ahead of an arbitration hearing. “We’ve been through this process before.” 
In both cases, the Brewers’ talks could hinge on other players in Weeks’ and Marcum’s service class. 
In Weeks’ case a very close comparable is Kelly Johnson of the D-backs, a fellow second baseman with five-plus years of Major League service coming off the most productive season of his career. Johnson made $2.35 million in ’10 (to Weeks’ $2.75 million) while hitting .274 with a .370 on-base percentage, 26 homers, 71 RBIs and 13 stolen bases (to Weeks’ .269/.366/29/83/11). Johnson’s filing figures were also similar — he’s seeking $6.5 million in arbitration and Arizona offered $4.7 million. 
A settlement by either Weeks or Johnson could certainly impact the other player. 
In Marcum’s case, the sides likely have a close eye on talks between the Twins and left-hander Francisco Liriano and the Angels and right-hander Jered Weaver. Like Marcum, those pitchers have between four and five years of Major League service and are seeking raises of at least $3 million. 
Liriano earned $1.6 million in 2010 and filed last week for $5 million in arbitration, while the Twins offered $3.6 million. Compare that to Marcum seeking $5 million and the Brewers’ offer of $3 million. 
Weaver has had more sustained Major League success than either Liriano or Marcum, and thus his figures are higher. He earned $4.265 million last season from the Angels and filed for $8.8 million, with the team offering $7.365 million. The Angels have begun talks with Weaver about a multi-year extension, owner Arte Moreno told reporters on Wednesday. 
A one-year settlement in Weaver’s case above or below the midpoint of filings could impact Liriano or Marcum because they’re all in the same service class. 
Werner declined to talk about other teams and their arbitration-eligible players. But based on his own talks about Marcum and his understanding of the club’s negotiations with Weeks, he characterized the progress as positive. 
“There’s been a lot of back and forth, which is good,” Werner said. 
A hearing is already scheduled for both Weeks and Marcum sometime in February, though Major League Baseball bars club officials from revealing the dates. 
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