This would have been a much bigger deal a couple years ago. In a move that will not exactly leave the rest of the AL East shaking, the Rays have signed veteran Rickie Weeks to a minor league deal according to Marc Topkin and invited him to Spring Training. Still, it’s a good move that could fit well with the Rays’ current roster if Weeks is healthy.
Weeks, of course, was a productive offense-first (ok, offense-only) second baseman for the Brewers through 2014. Injuries have limited him in recent years, and he hasn’t played the keystone since 2014. Last year, Weeks served as a platoon left-fielder and pinch-hitter for the Diamondbacks. He was actually pretty fantastic against lefties, hitting .284/.368/.642 with six homers in 76 plate appearances.
With the Rays, he’ll likely serve in a similar role for as long as he’s not hurt. Tampa just signed Colby Rasmus as a free agent as well, and he should get the lion’s share of time in left field. But Weeks could easily DH when a lefty is on the mound, pushing Corey Dickerson into the field to replace Rasmus. It’s getting pretty crowded in that outfield, however, with Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza, and Mallex Smith also around to fill out those roles. But he has several advantages over his competition. Unlike Shane Peterson, he hits righty. And unlike Jason Coats, he hits.