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Prince Fielder has likely played his last game as a Brewer

Oct 17, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder walks back to the dugout after grounding out to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 8th inning in Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

If it ends — and it looks like it has ended — Prince Fielder‘s tenure as a Milwaukee Brewer ended with an 0-for-4 night and a weak grounder to second base.

But that will soon be forgotten. For one thing, he had an overall productive 2011 postseason, getting on base and hitting for power. For another, he leaves behind six seasons — and part of a seventh — in Milwaukee that have been nothing short of spectacular: 230 homers, 656 RBI and a line of .282/.390/.540.  He has been a critical part of two Brewers’ playoff teams and stands as one of the more popular men to ever wear the team’s uniform.

But it’s that production and his impending free agency that makes Fielder all but certain to wear a different uniform in 2012.  Even with Albert Pujols on the market and the Yankees and Red Sox seemingly out of the bidding for a big first base bat, Fielder’s price tag is likely to approach $200 million. That’s widely accepted to be outside of the realm of the possible for team owner Mark Attanasio. The Brewers are a tremendous business success for a team in as small a market as Milwaukee, but they can’t afford that kind of a deal, especially when they’re already committed to Ryan Braun for $105 million through 2020.

So, barring an uncharacteristic hometown discount for the Scott Boras-represented Fielder, this is the end of the road for him in Wisconsin. I would assume that Brewers fans — a pretty knowledgeable lot — understand that this is business and I’d assume they’ll greet Fielder warmly if and when he returns to Miller Park wearing home grays.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 17, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    With impending free agent David Ortiz fed up with all the drama in Boston, I think that Boston could be a possible fit for Fielder.

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      The Boston argument for wanting him is the same as the Yankee argument:they both have a need for a DH, but no room to play him in the field.

      playing first is still important to fielder though so taking all things like an open spot at 1st, a team loaded to win for the next five plus years and the ability to spend boat loads of cash and I’m thinking Prince winds up with the Rangers.

      /shudder

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Texas makes sense to me.

    • bobdira - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Yep, that’s what the red sox need. More hitting because their pitching is great, um good, um, more than adequate, um, ok, um, not so good, um…… Maybe they can win by a score of 18 to 17 and save the bull pen for tomorrow.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      And what do you do with Youkilis, who pretty much demonstrated he can’t handle third any more?

    • irishphilly87 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      are you an idiot? the red sox do not have $120 million more dollars laying around. i swear people have the dumbest ideas and suggestions on here

    • irishphilly87 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Are you an idiot eh? The Red Sox don’t have an extra $120 million laying around. I swear people have the dumbest ideas on here.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Oct 17, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    0-4 with a weak grounder in an important playoff game?!?! Dare I say thet’s very “Howardian”. So that means he stinks too, right?

    • paperlions - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      They are not unalike in game. Fielder is quite a bit younger and so far has maintained a very good OBP, whereas Howard’s OBP has been only above average for the last few years….but yeah, very similar…their only positive (or even average) contributions are with the bat and they have body-types that tend to age very poorly. If I was a GM, he would be on my DNS list.

      • foreverchipper10 - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        Fielder has a much higher BA as well

  3. congratsyouareanidiot - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    Phillies should take the Flyers’ approach. Unload Howard by paying part of his salary to the team they trade him to. An expensive extension they will regret for years.

    Fielder will get paid, but will probably sign after Pujols if St. Louis takes the series. Pujols will be after big money if he gets another title. Fielder may want a competitive team after coming this close. If Philadelphia wants that offense to stay competitive, they need a fresh look with a power bat that doesn’t bat .250 and whiff on 1/4 at bats.

    • Amsterdamned - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      I don’t see how that could happen in reality, unless the Phillies pay a large portion of Howard’s salary for the entirety of the remainder of the contract. No team is going to want to trade for a guy who at this point in his career does nothing other than hit home runs, strike out, and play bad defense. Oh, and he’s terrible in the post-season. Oh, and he’s hurt and will likely miss significant time next year, if not the whole season. Who’s going to trade for 5 years of that at even half of what he’s scheduled to make? Tony Reagans isn’t the Angels GM any longer, so I doubt your going to get any takers there.

      Also, if they are paying a large chunk of his salary, how on earth are they going to afford a guy like Fielder who’s going to be making just as much, if not more than Howard? Sorry man, but there’s no way in hell the Phillies are going to be able to dump Howard on someone and be able to pick up Fielder, unless their owners want to put them in Red Sox/Yankees territory. It’s not gonna happen.

      • Alex K - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        They are already in that territory. I don’t remember 100% but I’m pretty sure they had the second or third highest payroll in MLB.

      • congratsyouareanidiot - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        If the Phillies were to chip in 5mil a season (20% of his salary), I think it could happen. I’m not saying this is going to happen by any stretch.

        Fielder will command 5-6 years, 20 mil a season. I don’t think anyone is going to over pay him, and he will take a deal like this on a competitive team.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        If Philly were to chip in $5 million/season, that would mean the acquiring team would be getting Howard for 5 years, $20 million a season, Which is exactly what you think the younger, better, less injured Fielder would command. Why would any team acquire Howard for the exact same cost as the better player in Fielder?

  4. shawon0meter - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Chicago, Chicago–that toddlin’ town.
    Chicago, Chicago–I will show you around. I love it.
    Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago.

    • cintiphil - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      I thought you were getting Albert?

  5. cintiphil - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    what I don’t agree with is that Prince did not perform for this series. So why would he be anxious to move on to a “better” team. If he and Braun would have hit better, they may have won the series. Fielder failed to produce and he can only blame himself for the loss to the Redbirds. I would think that he would like to stay and do it again next year with the Brewers. that is unless the Brewers cannot afford him.

  6. stinkfist5 - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Welcome to Baltimore!

    • cintiphil - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      Babe Ruth coming back from the dead, will not help Baltimore!

      • kpow55 - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        Ty Cobb would, but he wasn’t an over-hyped one dimensional “athlete”

    • Loose Changeup - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      And put Mark Reynolds back to 3B for another 30 errors? Yeah, that sounds about right.

  7. 1historian - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    When Epstein checks in as the new GM for the Cubs he might figure to go after Fielder to make a big splash right out of the gate.

    • cintiphil - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      I think Fielder will be a better match for an AL team. Then he can get to bat DH when he needs a break, keeping him fresh and strong for the whole season. Look for an AL team to pick him up.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        Fresh and Strong? I thought Fielder was the Iron Man. Didn’t he play like oh – 162 games this year?

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        Agreed. Unless he goes on a diet and reconditioning program bigtime, treating him like a whole ballplayer will only accelerate his meeting with the destiny his bulk has decreed for his joints and tendons. The designatedhitterball league, though, thrives on half-ballplayers overdeveloped from the pecs outward. He could last for years longer there.

      • spudchukar - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Exactly. He is a prototypical DH. Send him to the Junior Circuit, so I do not have to watch him waddle around the ball field. The inappropriately named “Fielder” should find a home in one of the bandboxes the AL prefers. You can have him. Who wants to watch him flounder in the field?

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        Given a mass capable of measurably bending light, it might be more appropriate to think of him as a halibut than a flounder. And if cur68 is right and he somehow winds up at the Rogers next season, they might even nickname him Muktuk.

    • cur68 - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      I’m going to ignore the DH insulting, the cracks about Fielder’s weight, AND the notion that the Phillies, Cubs, BoSox, or Yankees, teams top heavy with committed payrolls and seriously deranged fans, have a chance at Fielder. Why? Because right now Alex Anthopolous’s triangular dorsal fin is making a quiet ripple straight at Fielder. He might not get him, but few other teams have the free cash, the spot in the field, and nicer, handsomer, sweeter smelling group of fans than Toronto…especially those fans who are NOT from Toronto….anyhow, with the likes of Bautista to team with, he gets that big bat in the lineup right next to him. No other team is more legit for Fielder than the Beaver Men. He’ll be known as the Big Beaver Hunter. He’d be crazy to turn that down. He might yet turn it down, but he’d regret it when he misses the post season next year while the Blue Jays cruise right through October …

      (*wipes deranged fanboy foam from face* begins to pray to dog to make it happen, considers heavy medication for the inevitable disappointment of not landing Fielder….*sigh*)

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        More likely he’ll be known as the Musk Ox.

      • cur68 - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        “The Big Musk Ox” yeah…

    • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      I doubt it. His first job will be to unload big contracts and get the team ready to compete in 2014. Spending $45 million on Prince Fielder in 2012 and 2013 would be a huge waste of money that could be better spent in later years.

      Epstein’s first deals in Boston were for David Ortiz, Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar, Ramiro Mendoza, and Jeremy Giambi. I would expect to see some of the same deals — 2-year, $14 million, 3-year, 20 million — deals in Chicago. Well, that’s what I’d do.

      The Cubs are going to be terrible next year. And after 2012, a lot of money comes free.

  8. cintiphil - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    How did he look in this past series Francisco? He could barely swing the bat and looked tired to me. He may play all of the games, but that doesn’t mean he is 100%. He showed no energy after the first game and looked disinterested in game 6.

    • lazlosother - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      He had an OPS of 960 for the series. He gets on base and he slugs. in the last three seasons he’s played 162, 161 and 162 games. He’s never played less than 157 in a full season. You are confusing small sample size and body type with ability. The “disinterested” comment is nothing more than biased opinion, with no actual evidence.

      He is only 27. Someone is going to pay him major money to play first. I would love to see him stay with the brew-crew, but that doesn’t seem likely.

  9. cmb79 - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    My dream? LaPorta’s replacement.

    Then I wake up punching myself in the face.

  10. foreverchipper10 - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    I would be shocked if he didn’t sign with the Cubs. They have the cash to give him, Theo is there and they have no clear first baseman. Fielder will smash them out of Wrigley if he calls it home for 81 games a year. That being said, he has a good situation in Milwaukee but he won’t stay. He is just looking to get paid.

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