I’ll preface this post by noting that I’m going to reverse my field here.

Those of you who know me or have read my posts here know that for the last year and a half or so I have been an advocate of the Milwaukee Brewers trading first baseman Prince Fielder for some pitching help.  Now, in the words of the great Jethro Bodine, ‘Ah have changed my mind!’.

It’s not that I no longer think the Brewers are in need of more pitching; I still believe that Matt Cain would’ve looked great in a Brewer uniform.  But that deal is no longer out there, if indeed it ever was.  And the San Diego Padres aren’t going to move Jake Peavy for Fielder as they already have Adrian Gonzalez entrenched at first base.

The point is that many of the reasons I had for wanting to see Fielder move have disappeared.  Fielder was once a defensive liability at first base but, like Rickie Weeks before him, has improved to the point where he is at least a neutral concern there.  He used to strike out too much (along w/many others on the team) but, under the guidance of new manager Ken Macha and hitting coach Dale Sveum, so far this year he has been more willing to take his walks as he did in the minors. 

And, while their once was an organizational logjam of potential replacements at first base, that situation has clearly  dissipated.  Matt LaPorta was dealt to Cleveland last year.  Brad Nelson failed in a part-time role and was ultimately released.  Also, as I noted yesterday, the chances of Mat Gamel staying in the show at third base now seem to be greater. 

So, at this point, I don’t foresee a frontline pitcher coming on the market that would match Fielder’s current value to the team.  If the Brewers can somehow find a way to satisfy Fielder’s future contract demands, I would be happy to root for him as the Brewers first baseman for a long time.

 

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  • Chris

    There is no question Prince is having a great year. His defense is improved (he finally seems to have learned how to scoop the ball on bad throws) and it is hard not to like his approach at the plate (his OBP is almost as large as his uniform). And he’s done all this oh so quietly, so professionally.

    But genetics are very tough to overcome. Almost has tough as overcoming an agent who is focused on wringing the last dollar out of the market, sentiment be damned. Those two factors are, to me, reason for the Crew to deal Fielder this off-season. I recall Prince’s dad and how his size eventually cut into his effectiveness; I can’t help but imagine that will be the fate of Fielder Fils. Couple that with the fact that Prince has Darth Vader for an agent, well, the chances of him staying in MKE beyond next year are, ahem, slim.

    Moreover, the ranks of young pitching at the top end of the Brewers system are (dare I say?) thin. After YoGa and Parra, internal help does not seem plentiful. Prince might be able to fetch a youngish arm, one that might have time still on the arby clock. At this point, I think it would be easier to find a replacement at first than it would be to find a good, young arm. I still think there is little evidence to be comfortable with Gamel at third, and I wonder if they couldn’t move a guy like Katin to first.

    To me, keeping Prince is a pipedream. And even if they could reel him in, would they want to pay the kind of money it will take to lock him up long term when his genes suggest that he could be a physical liability by the time he is 30?

    • http://mike Mike

      If they can find a deal that improves the team, I’m all for it. I simply don’t think that deal is out there. So ride the horse as long as you can and, like CC, accept the draft choice(s) as compensation if and when the time comes.

      • Chris

        Because the got such great value in the draft choice they received for CC? To me, the way they were shafted on that is Reason One not to settle for draft picks.