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Doug Melvin on Prince Fielder: “it’s simple math”

Nov 14, 2011, 9:15 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

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spoke with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and, while Melvin said that he “might” meet with Scott Boras this week at the GM/owners meetings in Milwaukee, there is zero chance that the Brewers will make Fielder an offer.

Haudricourt breaks it down pretty simply: the Brewers have extended Ryan Braun and Yovanni Gallardo and have taken on Zack Greinke and other contracts. By the time the roster is filled out without Fielder, the payroll is going to be something close to where it was in 2011 or a bit more. The Brewers draw great crowds, but there are practical limits there.

Mat Gamel will not be Prince Fielder. Not by damn sight. He’s had 194 major league plate appearances sprinkled over four seasons and hasn’t produced at all. But he hit .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers in Nashville last year. He’s going to turn 27 next summer and it was his fourth time around the PCL — NOTE: I love that Nashville is in the Pacific Coast League — but there’s nothing for him to prove on the farm anymore. It’s put up or go away time for him and the Brewers know that.

As for Fielder, his time in Milwaukee is over. The Rangers have already said they’re out. The Dodgers have been ruled out by either Major League Baseball, Frank McCourt, the bankruptcy court or some combination of them all.  Everyone suspects that the Cubs will show interest, and the Marlins are giving off the vibe that they’ll do anything. Seattle badly needs some power. Maybe the Nationals will do something crazy again.  But there aren’t a ton of other teams that have both a hole at first base and a possible desire to spend money.

So, like, we’ll see.

  1. cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Unless the Brewers are near bankruptcy, this is too poor of a decision to believe. They need Fielder more than the redbirds need Albert, although this is about as stupid move as not signing Albert for the cards. The Brewers will go nowhere if they are too cheap to pay Fielder. They are not even going to make an offer? That is crazy. I guess the rest of the division can plan on moving up on both the Brewers and Cards.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      Ummm…NO.
      You do realize that both team are stacked next year…regardless of their 1st Baseman. Right?
      I mean…you are fully aware of the current players signed by both teams. Right?
      You do realize the Cardinals are expected to contend next year…regardless. Right?
      Right? Right Cincy? Right? I mean…you follow baseball. Right? Right? Right?
      One more thing before I forget….right?

      • cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        I don’t know just how right or wrong you are. I don’t remember the Brewers winning anything when Fielder was not carrying the team. They dynamics of this team is everyone do your best and lets FOLLOW PRINCE

      • cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        To continue, it is not measurable just how much influence a leader has on a team or winning. He is truly a leader and who knows what others on the team will do without him. I think it will hurt more than the cards losing Albert’s leadership. I know that the Brewers were not much before Fielder.

      • cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        St. Lou. Yes, you are probably right about the redbirds leaders, and that is why I said losing Prince will hurt them more than losing Albert if they don’t sign him. But this notion that Braun is a leader is not in evidence. it mostly hangs on Fielder, not so much with the cards, but Albert is the most important leader on the field.

        By the way, what did Milwaukee do last year in signing all of the high priced players if they knew that by doing so, they could not offer the best man on the team a contract this year? And I thought the Reds management was dumb at times.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        The Brewers offered him 5 years and $100 million a uear ago. He tirned it down. Since then they extended GAllardo, Braun, Weeks amd Hart and added Greinke and Marcums contracts. Their payroll is just about full. They cant afford him. Thats small market baseball.

    • dan1111 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      The Brewers won their division handily, their main competition might lose Pujols, and they play in the NL Central. I would say they are in pretty good shape for 2012.

      Despite the best efforts of some tent-dwellers on Wall Street, money still exists and is a real constraint. If they can’t afford to pay Fielder what he’s worth, it’s better just to let him go, rather than make an offer that is insultingly low.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        Cincy: I will give throw you a bone and state that I agree 100% with regards to leadership. The offensive productivity of A.P. and Prince is easily the most glaring thing both teams will miss. In A.P’s case…his Gold Glove defense is another.
        I also think the Brewers have a good leader with regards to Braun.
        The Cardinals have several leader type players in Lance, Carp, Wainwright, Holliday & Yadi.
        Dan: Great post. Not sure what they could gain by low balling Prince.
        It would be an insult when you know your Payroll is going to be maxed out WITHOUT him even being a part of the equation.
        Wonderful Wall Street reference as well!
        I am not sure they truly even know what they are protesting.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      RTFA. The Brewers payroll will be the same or higher without Fielder next year than it was this year with him. He figures to make in the neighborhood of $20 million next year. The fiscal reality of the situation says the Brewers can’t raise their payroll by that much in one season. This is not a case of the Brewers being cheap, but fiscally responsible.

  2. lyon810 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Gamel seems to have fallen prey to the Brandon Wood syndrome: blocked at his position, up and down with the big league club for years without ever getting a long-term shot, and huge inflated PCL numbers.

  3. gormanthomas - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    They both played in the PCL, but Nashville isn’t quite the hitters paradise that is Salt Lake.

  4. dannomac21 - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    @cintiphil

    you havent watched a brewer game. you ask why the brewers would extend “those players and take themselves out of the prince race by doing so”. those players? braun and gallardo are more important to our long term success than fielder. and weeks and hart arent your “average” players. theyre all stars under bargain contracts. you choose – fielder for 5 years 100 mil or braun for 10 years 140 mil?

    simple math.

    • cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      Until 2003, I traveled extensively to Chicago and Milwaukee. Who said I never saw the brewers play? I have been to both parks, but not the White Sox park. I will take Fielder over anyone except very few players. Of course Albert is my first choice, and a pitcher like Halladay or Verlander would be next, then Prince.

      • cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        I need to add, I have watched them in Cinti at Great American Park.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 14, 2011 at 5:36 PM

        Phil, you havent watched enough Brewers baseball then. Of course the Brewers are potentially mich better with Prince but their siccess this year was more because of a vastly improved pitching staff. I’ll hate to see Prince go but having Weeks, Hart, Gallardo and Braun is much better than having just Fielder. Not to mention still having Greinke and marcum. And this version of the Brewers is dramatically better than 2003 and before. Those teams all sucked and were mismanaged and cheap from the top on down. Fielder is a great player but he’s only 1 guy. It takes a lot more thn him to make it to the playoffs.

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