The Prince Fielder Market

Earlier this month we learned that the Brewers are listening to offers for first baseman Prince Fielder.  One school of thought is that Fielder's value is at its highest since, as one GM told ESPN's Buster Olney, "he can impact two pennant races."  Another is that Brewers GM Doug Melvin can get more teams involved in the offseason and drive up the price.  At any rate, let's summarize the current Fielder situation.

Contract

Fielder, a Scott Boras client, signed a two-year, $18MM extension in January of 2009.  $4.34MM remains on that contract through the end of the season, and then Fielder will be arbitration-eligible for 2011.  One exec I spoke to feels the slugger could earn around $15-16MM in '11 before reaching free agency and seeking $100MM+ on a multiyear deal.

Performance

Fielder's power is down overall this year, as he's hitting .265/.396/.509 and striking out more than ever.  However, he's slugging .618 since June 1st – more in line with his '09 performance.  And even though doubles and triples are down, Fielder leads the NL with 23 home runs.

Asking Price

In today's blog Olney writes that "the Brewers' clear preference will be for young power pitching."  The deal would have to be built around a household name – a hurler found on Baseball America's midseason top 50 prospects list or a flamethrower who was recently promoted.  I'm guessing the Brewers would want a top 100 prospect as well, and those two players would form the foundation of the deal.

Interested Teams

  • White Sox: GM Kenny Williams says "only a small group of players" can help him, and many baseball writers feel that Fielder is probably on Williams' list.  Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that the Brewers scouted Daniel Hudson last night.  Is Hudson the type of player you can build a Fielder deal around?  It may be a moot point, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Sox are "not on Fielder." 
  • Rays: They certainly have the goods, with pitchers such as Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis.  However, a source of Yahoo's Jeff Passan says the Rays "won't go near" Fielder, perhaps because of his likely 2011 salary.
  • Giants: With Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez, Passan feels the Giants could swing a Fielder deal.  They've also got Zach Wheeler, who is further away but rates very highly.  On the other hand, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted on July 3rd that there had been no recent trade talks between the teams.  That same day Olney opined that he didn't think the Giants could acquire Fielder without Matt Cain.
  • Angels: It's believed they prefer a rental at first base, since Kendry Morales will be ready for the '11 season.  For what it's worth, Torii Hunter would like to see the Angels acquire Fielder or Adam Dunn.
  • You could dream up various other scenarios, though we haven't seen anything about the Mets, Dodgers, or Rangers being interested in Fielder.  Things could open up in the winter, as a surprise team could splurge for a year of Fielder in the way that the Athletics acquired Matt Holliday.


Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "The Prince Fielder Market"


aap212
5 years 15 days ago

Hudson is definitely not enough to be the centerpiece of a Fielder trade if I’m Doug Melvin. If the best player I can get projects as a number three if everything breaks right, I’m not bothering.

Nicolas_C
5 years 15 days ago

If the White Sox stay put I’ll be happy. We need to preserve what little we have and try to make a run with the team as is. A minor deal for someone like Adam LaRoche would be okay by me, but giving up any top prospects wouldn’t be a good idea.

5 years 15 days ago

“Fielder, a Scott Boras client..” That kind of eliminates the White Sox and the Angels (and any other team with any brains) doesn’t it?

Ageezy
5 years 15 days ago

Why? The trade isnt about singing him long-term its about helping them this year and next.

55legend
5 years 15 days ago

How often does a team have a strong 5 man rotation? Don’t give up sanchez nor bumgarner. Wheeler at most, but otherwise don’t touch us

aap212
5 years 15 days ago

Few things are more overvalued than a fifth starter. Having this strong a front three or four won’t last forever. It’s a waste to not put some power behind it. Besides, Sanchez isn’t far from free agency.

5 years 15 days ago

What if the Jays got involved to make it a three team deal? We have plenty of young pitching in our minor league system that we could use to help get a deal done. Though, the jays would want a young hitting prospect or major league player in the deal….idk, but it seems like it could be a very interesting deal if three teams work together to get it done

JTrea81
5 years 15 days ago

The Orioles should be on that list even though they are in last place. Fielder would help them next year as well and is better than any FA bat they can acquire. They have the pitching that Milwaukee would be looking for.

Potrzeba
5 years 15 days ago

I like the O’s chances. They have the prospects and the need. Matsuz, tillman and a couple more AAA pitchers would get it done. Sick lineup. Jones, markaias, weiters, tjeda, Roberts when he comes back.

tmoney352
5 years 15 days ago

I don’t think its plausible, or even sane for that matter, but to imagine Fielder in the Rangers lineup would just be incredible. Obviously I have no thoughts on this actually happening, as the money would be the issue for this deal (not the prospects). But really, imagine maybe the most potent lineup in the bigs subbing Chris Davis and adding Prince?!? You’re top 7 would be ridiculous, more specifically the 4-5-6-7 group of Vlad/Ham/Cruz/Prince. Unreal.

I won’t be surprised to see the Rangers mentioned in the talk, but I highly doubt they have any chance of landing him. Nonetheless, I think a Derek Holland/Engel Beltre type deal would get it done. However, because of Tom Hicks and his selfishness, this will only remain a pipedream.

daveineg
5 years 15 days ago

It took the Brewers 2 months to revamp (added Axford, Loe, Braddock, subtracted Suppan, Hawkins, Vargas) what was an awful pitching staff. Prior to June 1, they had allowed 5.8 runs per game. Since June 1, they have allowed 4.6 runs per game.

They are 22-21 since that date. Had Braun not gone through the worst slump of his career, and Fielder hit more with men on, they could easily been 8-9 games over .500 in that same span.

A case could easily be made with a smarter move or two to the pitching staff in the offseason (they couldn’t have done worse with Doug Davis, Hawkins, and extension of Hoffman last year), that they could couple a number 1 or 2 offense in the NL with an average (as they’ve been since June 1) pitching staff and be in strong contention for a playoff berth in 2011.

They can afford to extend Hart and probably Weeks beyond 2011. Sure they risk losing Fielder, but the draft picks soften that blow and they give their own prospects, specifically Brett Lawrie and some nice young arms in A ball, another year to develop. Who knows, Boras may be completely misreading the market for Fielder too and may even end up being forced to accept a 2012 arby offer from the Brewers or take far less than he’s talked about.

B DominateD
5 years 14 days ago

The Giants need to make an offer of Sanchez/Wheeler/Neal for Fielder…thats a big league starter with possible #1 talent (right now 2-3), a top 50 prospect, and top 100 prospect…and maybe an extra throw in prospect..

5 years 14 days ago

I think the A’s could swing a deal for either Fielder or Hart revolving around Gio Gonzalez. Obviously for Fielder they’d have to include a bit more (Barton? etc.).

Either would help this year, but especially next year —a big bat to take the pressure off Taylor and Carter as they arrive. Fielder’s case, A’s could flip him if they don’t contend in ’11 a la Holliday.

Hart’s case, even if he regresses he’d be a useful player. He and Gio are similar players—tons of talent, performing at high level, could both suddenly regress at any moment or continue their pace and become star players. Or both. Ha.

A’s have cash to spare next year— Chavez and Sheets alone are ~$22 million coming off the books. So that wouldn’t be an issue.

Great marketing, too—both Hart and Fielder are enormous, which would make a Taylor (6’5)-Carter (6’6)-[Hart (6’6)/Fielder (270 pounds)] middle of the order quite a sight to behold. ‘The Linebackers’? :)

B DominateD
5 years 14 days ago

I can’t see the A’s making this type of impact move until they move out of Oakland….they’ve resorted to hiding free tickets in the city just to get people to show up..lol..

5 years 14 days ago

So you’re saying those weren’t riots in Oakland, they were free A’s ticket flash mobs?

5 years 15 days ago

They’re fools to pursue him if it guts their next several years.

cubsfanraysaddict
5 years 15 days ago

That’s true, but the Rays have to rely on their top prospects/ the prospects required to trade for a Fielder, (Hellickson and Jennings throw in Davis/Brignac at the MLB level) to produce for next to no cost to be competitive with their payroll next year ($50mil range stated by the owners). Prince would not only keep them from retaining a couple of their free agents, but also not allow them to find FA replacements for those holes, unless they want to go with an all rookie bullpen with JP Howell closing. The Rays will need to make a ‘big’ move, but I think that comes in the form of a Luke Scott or hopefully a Josh Willingham, allowing the Rays to hold on to both Jennings and Hellickson.

Fangaffes
5 years 15 days ago

The one bold move that would help more than anything in getting a championship would be a move to another city, far from the Yankees.

5 years 15 days ago

they have to save money for the new stadium. thats why payroll is going back down.

Otis26
5 years 15 days ago

Hey, little child, in response to your now-removed comment about John Buck – It comes from watching over 50 games in person over the last two seasons. Are you always so ignorant or only when you wish to offend people?

DustysLambChops
5 years 14 days ago

right…like anyone should trust the eye of a kc fan. You’ve been watching a farm team for the last 10 years how can anyone trust your analysis of who is and who isn’t a good player. Right now John Buck would be the best hitter on the royals, you cant argue that. and his defense has become pretty good. . obviously leaving a loss factory like the royals has inspired him to be a better overall player, which he has become.. whether you want to be a man and admit it, or not