It looks like Prince Fielder and the Milwaukee Brewers will continue their relationship for one, final year. Or, at the very least, until the trading deadline in July.
Fielder signed a one-year, $15.5 million deal with the Brewers, the only team he’s ever played for, avoiding arbitration. The signing is the highest-single season contract for an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing Mark Teixeira’s $12.5 million agreement with Atlanta in 2008.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is the chances of him playing in Milwaukee past this season are slim. If not non-existent. He is eligible to become a free agent after this season and his agent is guy named Scott Boras, who is well-known for seeking top dollar (or above) for his clients. Fielder will most likely price himself out of Milwaukee’s wallet.
That means the Brew Crew has one more season to make some magic, something that looks like a long shot considering the team’s 50-1 odds to simply win the National League pennant. And they seem to realize that.
The Brewers appear to be stocking up a postseason run with Fielder the centerpiece of a young, potent offensive core that also includes All-Stars Ryan Braun and Corey Hart, as well as second baseman Rickie Weeks and third baseman Casey McGehee.
Pitching-wise, Milwaukee hasn’t messed around either.
The team added former AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke in a six-player swap with the Royals and dealt the organization’s top hitting prospect to Toronto for Blue Jays’ opening-day starter Shaun Marcum. Those two will join Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf in a rotation that should rank among the best in the NL behind Philadelphia.
Fielder has been a major part of all the Brewers success since he was the team’s first round draft pick in 2002. Last year, however, was his worst year statistically of his career. Fielder hit .261 with 32 homers and 83 RBIs.
Fielder became the youngest player to hit 50 home runs, when he did it at age 23 in 2007. In 2009, he won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star break and finished with a .299 average and 46 homers, tying Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard with a big league-best 141 RBIs.
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