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Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

Posted on: November 8, 2010 4:29 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 12:19 pm
 
Hot Stove Over the next three weeks, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. First up is trade candidate Prince Fielder.

Forget Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth (although we'll remember them in future editions of this Hot Stove League). What about trade candidates? The best hitter on the market figures to be Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, although the odds that he gets traded are slim.

Fielder WHY HE'S AVAILABLE
It's not often a 26-year-old with 192 career home runs isn't in demand, but Fielder might be that person even as the best bat available in trade. Armed with Scott Boras at his side, poised for a big payday in his final year of arbitration and with weight issues that call into question his longevity, it hasn't been easy for the Brewers to work out an extension nor to trade him. Boras and Fielder rejected a five-year, $100 million deal that has forced Milwaukee's hand into considering a trade. The big problem is that as the face of the franchise, Milwaukee can't just hand Fielder away despite major issues on weight and salary.

STATS
2010: .261/.401/.471, 32 HR, -7.8 UZR/150, -13 defensive runs saved
Career: .279/.385/.535, 192 HR, -6.7 UZR/150, -47 cumulative DRS

CONTRACT
Fielder has one more year of arbitration left, having made $10.5 million in 2010 on a two-year, $18 million deal. Although he did not have as strong a season as he has in the past, he had a strong enough year that he figures to land in the $15-million range in arbitration.

WHAT IT WILL TAKE

If the Brewers want to resign Fielder, they already know a five-year, $100 million deal is no-go. There's no way Milwaukee should go further than that, but if they had the dollars of New York, would be able to make Fielder sign on the dotted line with a deal close to that of Mark Teixeira's eight-year, $180 million deal. No one in their right mind would do that, though, so Fielder will head to free agency with the hopes of snagging a seven year, $155-million pact.

Fielder WHERE HE COULD GO
Milwaukee has been asking for two young, strong pitchers as rumors indicate. No one will bite on that, but getting a solid young pitcher and a mid-range second piece (strong prospect or mid-tier major leaguer) could make it worth Milwaukee's while.

The Athletics could be a factor as a team open to renting Fielder, as they are desperate for offense and can allocate the salary resources to bring Fielder to town for one season. The two teams have already been linked in a possible swap for Casey McGehee and an Oakland pitcher, but Oakland could switch its attention to Fielder. A possible deal could include lefty Gio Gonzalez along with slugger Chris Carter to replace Fielder at first base.

Other teams that are desperate for a PR splash, a power bat and who are willing to shell out more bucks than Milwaukee could be Seattle with its moribund offense, no one blocking the way and a connection in Seattle's GM Jack Zduriencik having left Milwaukee to take the Seattle job. Baltimore is also looking to make a splash and went after Teixeira before losing out. Given the Yankees and most likely the Red Sox will shy away from Fielder, things could be lining up for Prince's arrival in Baltimore.

B-more would get competition from the Nationals, and you can't count out the White Sox, who made a play for Fielder at the deadline but failed. Texas, who also inquired at the trade deadline, is another possibility if they lose out on Cliff Lee and have dollars burning a hole in its pocket. The Cubs may want to make a big splash to keep the team relevant, and if and when the Dodgers divorce proceedings end and there are deep pockets once again, L.A. could be relevant.

PREDICTION
Fielder stays and Milwaukee will move him at the trade deadline of 2011. With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire in December 2011, Milwaukee can't even be certain that draft-pick compensation will exist for Fielder, which will force their hand.

-- Evan Brunell

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Comments

Since: May 17, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2010 6:10 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

With David Ortiz set to be a free agent in 2012, WHY wouldn't the Red Sox sign this guy???? Anyone????
He is only 26. A 7-year deal only makes him 33. I don't care if he's 300 lbs. Fielder as a 1B transitioned to DH would replace Ortiz very nicely for YEARS. Theo!!! Pay the man!!!



Since: Nov 14, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

I somewhat agree with you chuzhead...that is a lot of dough but look where else they've been spending it.  Milwaukee's free agent signings have been average and sometimes terrible except for resigning our homegrown talent.  While Scott Boras breeds disloyalty and greed into his clients, this is the way MLB is right now, so the Brewers need to keep this line-up together to compete.  The Brewers seem to be a couple of young arms from winning the central right now.  But yeah, I really don't care for Scott Boras or the disloyalty of players for the sake of more money than they possibly need.  Too bad more players don't follow Joe Maurs' example with the Twins.




Since: Nov 14, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:10 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

I think the Brewers would be best-served to give Fielder a new contract based on a couple assumptions.  One is the possibility that he'll settle in and quit swinging for the fences every at-bat. This would make him even more of an RBI machine. The other is that keeping the Brewers' dynamic offensive line-up intact gives them their best and only chance to make the playoffs.  While the big market-teams gobble up the Sabathia's and Lee's of the baseball world, the Brewers are left in desperation to sign left-over's like Randy Wolf  and Doug Davis last year.  I say, don't waste the money the money on has-beens(see Wolf and Hoffman) and throw your young guns in with the couple of pitchers(such as they did with John Axford) you do have that are effective. 



Since: Jul 5, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:03 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

I like Fielder, but turning down a five year/$100 million deal is insane.  I honestly do believe that Scott Boras wants to be forever known as the man that ruined baseball.



Since: Nov 12, 2010
Posted on: November 12, 2010 5:44 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

you think of that one after leaving the dispensary?  try thinking longer/harder for your next post



Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2010 6:16 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

I'd give the Brewers James Loney and Russell Martin to get Fielder to LA.



Since: Nov 5, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Prince Fielder

The Brewers would have NO interest in Chris Carter. He is a righthanded hitter (their entire lineup would then be righthanded) and he strikes out every 3 1/2 times up. Gonzalez is a lefty and he would give them 4 lefty starters making the trade even more unlikley. Neither the Nationals nor the Cubs have the pitching to interest the Brewers.


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