“Hey, Let’s keep Fielder!”
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.