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Brewers to consider dealing Prince Fielder

Sep 28, 2009, 10:33 PM EDT

fielder_prince_090928.jpgMilwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he and general manager Doug Melvin are exploring every avenue to improve their team for next season, even if that means trading its best hitter, Prince Fielder.

“I don’t like thinking about the Milwaukee Brewers without Prince Fielder, I’ll tell you that,” Attanasio said. “It’s a challenge, because on the other side, if you concentrate too much on one player. … It’s not like basketball. If LeBron James or Michael Jordan is on your team, you can dominate. Prince could not have been more of a dominant player and we’re scuffling to get to .500 with the challenges we’ve had with starting pitching. What do you do?

Attanasio states that Fielder’s trade value will never be higher than it is right now, and if that were really the issue, he might be right. Fielder has put together arguably his best season, a .297/.406/.596 line with 43 homers and 137 RBIs. He’s walked more than 100 times for the first time in his career, and doesn’t turn 26 until May.

Has Fielder peaked? It seems unlikely for a guy that young, but concerns over his physique might change the formula a little bit, and Fielder’s next contract will be a big one.

And that’s really what it comes down to: Money.

Milwaukee was smart to lock up Ryan Braun, who won’t even make as much as $8.5 million until the 2013 season. Fielder, though, resisted following a similar path, opting instead to keep one year of arbitration eligibility after his current two-year deal expires (after 2010) before heading into free agency.

On the other hand, Fielder’s presence undoubtedly sells a lot of tickets (Milwaukee topped the 3-million mark in attendance for the second straight season) so you might want to keep him around a bit, patch some holes and hope for a rebound in 2010. Either way, it’s not an easy decision.

“If you play that player too much you have to surround him with good enough players to win. On the other hand, players like Ryan Braun and Prince, they come along only every 10 years or so. Believe me, I think Doug thinks about that every day.”

What would you do?

  1. dealdo - Sep 28, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    I say trade him for a pizza

  2. Grant - Sep 28, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Make sure it’s a vegan pizza.

  3. Joe - Sep 29, 2009 at 12:51 AM

    What is wrong with baseball? How can you follow a team? Prince is great! Such a powerhouse and I love that he doesn’t have the body of A Rod. He’s a keeper.

  4. Maceo Campbell - Sep 29, 2009 at 1:05 AM

    If I were a Brewers fan or GM I would only trade Prince F. if I could get a front line young pitcher & a major league starter and…a top prospect. Only them would it be worth trading Prince. A team in need of power like the Giants could fit, I would demand: Matt Cain, Buster Posey & a top minor league pitching prospect. Otherwise I keep Prince.

  5. Chuck - Sep 29, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    The reason they’re thinking about trading him is because of his weight, if this is how he takes care of himself when he’s fighting for a contract, what’s he going to look like 3 years into getting it? Worse. And they know it. He’s not going to be worth the money he wants in the long haul and that’s why they’re balking at keeping him, not because they think they can get starting pitching for him.

  6. Rich - Sep 29, 2009 at 3:56 AM

    I’m not sure the Giants would even do Cain for Prince straight up. Young pitching is harder to find than a young slugging first baseman. People with Prince’s body type have a better chance of having their skills erode quickly. Look at Mo Vaughn.

  7. Saguaro - Sep 29, 2009 at 6:33 AM

    MLB is eventually going to have to do a salary cap or half the small-market teams will disappear within a generation. Not all of them will disappear, because the Yankees still need somewhere to get free agents from.

  8. The #1 Brewers fans. - Sep 29, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    You better not trade him he is the best players on the team, defensive, and offensive. If you trade him, what is going to happen to the Brewers. They will probably have the same season this year for next year with out this dude. He is a beast! He’s the best thing that happened to the Brewers, and with Ryan Braun in a slump, Prince takes the lead role. He’s a role model for everyone, in every age. If they were to trade anyone, they might as well trade Suppan for another pitcher. The only thing the Brewers need is a better pitching squad.

  9. Miranda - Sep 29, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    Yes, #1 Brewers fans, that is CORRECT!! I don’t see why others want to trade him. He is indeed the best thing that ever happened to the Brewers! He’s the ace, the best, and the nicest. Thanks for agreeing with me!

  10. Cody - Sep 29, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    The key to winning in the playoffs is pitching (see last year for Brewers). You could probaly get 4 quality players for Fielder.
    What would the Red Sox pay for him ???
    I would see what you can trade him for then make a solid Baseball and financial decision that is best for the next 3 to 5 years.

  11. Ralf - Sep 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    1. If the Brewers trade Fielder for pitching and don’t re-sign Mike Cameron, they will have exactly one proven, above-average hitter on their roster (Ryan Braun). It would be impossible to acquire enough pitching to make that OK.
    2. Fielder is in better shape than he looks. His knees will probably wear down eventually, but his bulk is mostly muscle and he’s a lot more nimble at first base than you’d think.
    I would sign him for 5 years, hoping his knees hold up until he turns 30. Then, instead of putting all of my pitching eggs in one basket, acquire a quantity of under-the-radar arms by trading lower-level players and signing guys to minor league deals. If they can get 10-12 pitchers who have shown promise at some point but aren’t big names, they stand a good chance of having a few of them become the 2-3 rotation arms they need by 2011. It’s not very sexy or exciting but it’s much more cost-effective.
    If the Brewers’ brain trust gives into the fans’ frustration with the pitching staff and trades Fielder, in a couple of years we’ll be talking about whether they need to trade Yovani Gallardo for a big-name hitter.

  12. jeff - Sep 29, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Dear #1 Brewer fan. Prince is having a great year. What happens in 2 years? Yankees or Boston take him as they always do. What do you get? A couple of draft picks. His trade value is the highest it is going to get. Take a look at every team in the playoffs. They have one thing in common. Really good pitching. Besides Prince and Boras are out of here in 2 years. Can you say highest bidder. Just like CC.

  13. Shely - Sep 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Who said Fat guys can’t play? Look at Big Pappi in Bean town. The problem is however that they have a first baseman, and two D-H’s? I don’t think so. He can play left field, but he won’t last long there. If Boston wants him, they had better be prepared to fork over Dice-K and Beckett. Anything less, and the Brewers are fools.
    Shely-Cinti fan.

  14. AD - Sep 29, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    As a Dodger fan, I would trade Loney and Billingsley for Fielder!

  15. Omega in Colorado - Sep 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Todd Helton isn’t getting any younger. The Rockies should make a move for him, I think his big bat would do wonders playing 81 games a season at Coors Field.

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