The next few days the free agent landscape will start to become more clear as options will be picked up or declined. Already, we know that the Blue Jays have picked up the option on J.A. Happ. As more and more options are decided, we may be adding more names to the list of free agents.
One such name that may be of interest to the Blue Jays is that of Rickie Weeks. We’ve already looked at Jed Lowrie as an option at 2B. So, let’s see if we have a better option here. The Milwaukee Brewers have declined to pick up Weeks’ $11.5M option thus rendering him a free agent. The 2B position is not exactly a deep one this off season. So, should the Blue Jays look into bringing Weeks on board to fill the abyss that has been second base?
More from Toronto Blue Jays Rumors
- Kyle Schwarber an ideal fit for the Blue Jays lineup
- Blue Jays: Could a 12-year old be the franchise’s future star shortstop?
- Blue Jays: Potential replacements for Marcus Semien
- Blue Jays: Time for an Old-Fashioned MLB Player for Player Trade?
- Are The Blue Jays Looking To Add Another Power Bat?
There’s a real lack of depth in this year’s free agent class at second base. There’s Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Drew and then…*crickets*. So, it may be very tempting to consider Rickie Weeks. However, that may be a mistake.
A reason, some may consider signing Weeks is his offensive production. He’d definitely be an upgrade over Ryan Goins, which is not exactly saying much. But let’s take a look at what the team that signs him is getting. Over the last 3 season, we’ve seen his home run totals drop off significantly from 21 in 2012 to 8 in 2014. His stolen bases have also dropped off from 16 to 3. His slash line of .274/.357/.452 was fairly consistent with his career numbers, if not a bit better than the last couple years. But, it was not enough for him to keep his starting job for the Brewers.
One could argue that MAYBE, just maybe hitting in the Rogers Centre could help Weeks’ numbers. But the point is that his numbers are in steady decline. But, what if his right handed bat could help with the whole “Blue Jays can’t hit left handed pitchers” issues? Yeah, about that…as a right handed batter, Weeks actually fared worse against south paws. He slashed .256/.361/.504 compared to .294 against RHP. He also struck out 35 times in 133 AB against lefties. So that’s out.
OK, well maybe he can provide defense. Yeah…in 62 games (49 starts), he committed 7 errors. And, after putting up decent UZR from 2009-2011, Weeks has been um…not good since. Last season his UZR was -7.5! And, he made just 94.5% of ‘routine plays’ according to FanGraphs.com. We’re talking routine plays, here. If this is the defense he’s bringing to the table, imagine what it would be like for him to play of the speedy turf at Rogers Centre. Nope. I’d rather stick with Ryan Goins if that is the case.
So, while it may be tempting to get excited about potential free agents and declined options and dream about the many improvements the Blue Jays have to make to fill several voids, we have to do so cautiously. Rickie Weeks is a name. Yes. But, he is a name that lost his everyday job and was relegated to a platoon role. He is 32 years old. He’s had a history of wrist, ankle and hamstring injuries. This is one of those situations where Alex Anthopoulos can “kick the tires”, but move on to the next option. Unless, of course, if the price is super low…and a minor league deal…and…there are NO other options.