The Brewers have officially declined a $14 million option for 2015 on second baseman Rickie Weeks, meaning the long-tenured member of the team will become a free agent for the first time.
Weeks first broke in with the team for a brief stint in 2003, just months after the Brewers selected him with the second overall pick of that year's draft. He played in just a handful of games as a 20-year-old, then spent a couple years in the minors as a top-10 prospect nation-wide. In 2005 he rejoined the big league club on a permanent basis.
In the 10 years since being called up in 2005, Weeks has played in 1,135 games and hit .249/.347/.429 with 148 home runs and 126 stolen bases. Weeks was supposed to be a star, coming up as arguably the most-heralded prospect in a farm system that also saw players like Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy and Corey Hart come up around the same time. Instead, he ended up as an above-average and probably underrated second baseman.
Weeks had his down years, but he also had years like 2010, when he hit .269/.366/.464 with 29 homers. He only made one All Star game, and he's never received a single vote for MVP. He was both a fan-favorite and a lightning-rod for criticism.
Now, it seems Weeks will be gone. He'll almost assuredly want a starting spot somewhere, and someone will give it to him. The Brewers have seen the ascension of Scooter Gennett at second and have other positions where they need to spend the money.
Weeks will officially be available for any team to sign on November 4. Rickie Weeks is a run scorer; it's what he does. Moving forward, he'll be doing it for another team in all likelihood.
The Brewers picked up Yovani Gallardo's option, but still have to make a decision on Aramis Ramirez. The third baseman has a $14 million mutual option for 2015. If the Brewers decline their end, they will owe him a $4 million buyout.