As he so often does, Keith Law made a pretty good point in his chat yesterday:
Klaw (1:28 PM)
I love Rickie Weeks, but that Games Played column doesn’t scream “long-term contract” to me.
Let’s take a look at said “games played” column.
The low total from 2005 is due to the fact that he was a midseason callup, but after that, the injury bug has ravaged Weeks’s career. Weeks saw two DL stints from wrist injuries in 2006 and missed 21 games due to more wrist injuries in 2007. A sore knee robbed Weeks of 12 games in 2008 before his worst injury, another wrist injury, cost him all but 37 games in 2009.
2010 was Rickie Weeks’s first season without injury, and that has to come into play when negotiating a long-term contract. One of the best predictors of future injury is past injury, and Weeks won’t become more durable with age. We also can’t assume that Weeks will continue to be as fantastically good as he was in 2010. With tempered expectations and a knowledge of his injury history, the Brewers can’t afford to just empty the coffers for Weeks with reckless abandon.
However, Weeks did show that when healthy, he just might be the best player on the Brewers roster. Personally, I think that the ideal contract extension for Weeks would go three seasons, which would take him through his age 31 year. Of course, that might not be enough to keep Rickie around, but that’s the amount of risk that I would be most comfortable with. I still think that he’s too good to just let walk away, but committing five or more seasons to an injury-prone player entering his 30s would probably be a bad idea.