SEATTLE (AP) — After making additions throughout the offseason, the Seattle Mariners had one more move before the start of spring training.
Former All-Star Rickie Weeks and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical. Weeks can earn another $2 million in performance bonuses plus additional award bonuses.
ESPN first reported the agreement.
Weeks gives the Mariners additional versatility in the infield. In 121 games last season with Milwaukee, he hit .274 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs. He became a free agent after the Brewers voided his $11.5 million salary for 2015, a right the team had because Weeks failed to have at least 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14, including 600 or more last year.
The addition of Weeks gives Seattle another potential right-handed bat for the lineup. But where he plays in the field, and how often, will be the question. Throughout his career with Milwaukee, Weeks has only played second base in the field and been a designated hitter a handful of time.
Weeks' skill as an infielder should make him a potential option as a backup at second base, shortstop and third base. Seattle is already set with its starters having All-Stars Robinson Cano at second base and Kyle Seager at third base. The shortstop job is expected to be settled between Chris Taylor and Brad Miller.
Weeks could also be an option to backup Logan Morrison at first base and potentially work in the outfield. The other utility player currently on Seattle's roster, Willie Bloomquist, is coming back from major knee surgery last season. Bloomquist is expected to be ready for spring training.
Weeks was an All-Star in 2011 with the Brewers, but his best season came in 2010 when he hit a career-high 29 home runs and drove in 83 runs. Where Weeks could be a boost is adding another right-handed bat to a lineup that was lefty heavy last season. The Mariners signed Nelson Cruz and traded for Justin Ruggiano in the offseason to add more balance to the batting order and Weeks is another option for manager Lloyd McClendon.
Seattle also agreed to a minor league contract with former Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez, who will report to big league spring training. Perez last pitched in the majors in 2012 with the Indians and made 338 relief appearances from 2006-12. Perez could fill Seattle's need for another left-hander in the bullpen, a role that Joe Beimel held last season. Beimel is a free agent.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.