On the day that the Cardinals were unable to come to terms on a contract extension with Albert Pujols at his "deadline" and the Brewers pitchers and catchers reported to camp, the Brewers were able to sign 2B Rickie Weeks to a contract extension. A nice club friendly 4 year extension worth $38.5 mill with a club option for a 5th year and escalators that could make it worth $50 mill for Rickie.
I personally love this deal. The Brewers buy out Weeks last arbitration season and at least his first 3 free agents seasons and maybe a 4th. I have been a big fan of Rickie's for some time now so I had hoped they would be able to get this extension done. He's a very fun player to watch, always plays at 110% and plays with more intensity than maybe anybody in baseball. To me he is a poor man's Rickey Henderson from the leadoff spot (minus all the stolen bases, but he should run more with Roenicke at the helm). I no doubt understand the concern from some people about Rickie's issues with staying healthy. He has only played more than 140 games twice in his career.
But to me, he is worth the risk on this deal and will be much more of a reward for the Brewers. When he was healthy last season he showed how good and productive he can be. He has also drastically improved his defense at 2B from where he was a few years ago. He is a player who continues to work hard to improve and is just hitting his prime. I think he is already a top five 2B in all of MLB, only trailing Cano, Utley, Pedroia and maybe Uggla. With Prince Fielder all but gone after the 2011 season it is nice to know that the Brewers have three fantastic hitters locked up for the long term; Braun, Hart and now Weeks.
Alex, Brad and Myself will have more thoughts on this when we record episode 1 of the VFBC podcast this coming Monday night the 21st.