Seattle was seeking a utility player who could also play second base, and found that player on Wednesday night. According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, the Mariners signed Rickie Weeks to a one-year, $2 million major league contract which is pending a physical. The deal is also expected to contain incentives that could be worth up to $2 million.
Weeks, 32, posted a .274/.357/.452 batting line in 121 games with the Brewers last season. As Bowden notes, Seattle was seeking depth at second base and will also use Weeks in the corner outfield spots throughout next season. Since left fielder Dustin Ackley is a career .236 hitter against left-handed pitching, the addition of Weeks will give the Mariners a right-handed option against lefties.
While the addition of Weeks give the Mariners another right-handed option, the club has a left-handed intensive lineup. Catcher Mike Zunino, designated hitter Nelson Cruz, and center fielder Austin Jackson are expected to be the lone right-handed hitting starters, with Justin Ruggiano likely to platoon with Seth Smith in right field.
Seattle General Manager Jack Zduriencik is familiar with Weeks, having served as Milwaukee's director of scouting when Weeks was drafted in 2003. Weeks was a versatile piece for the Brewers, and served as the team's starting second baseman. He most notably thrived from 2009 through 2011, during which he posted a .269/.357/.472 line while also adding power. Weeks had difficulty remaining consistent offensively in 2012 and 2013, but was solid last season after platooning with Scooter Gennett for most of the year. Milwaukee reportedly wanted Weeks to play left field in 2014, however he was not pleased with the idea.
Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times notes that with the addition of Weeks, Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon likely will not be carrying an eight-man bullpen. The Mariners have yet to make a 40-man roster move, which will likely come when the deal is official.