After locking up Ryan Braun through 2020, can the Brewers actually compete for Prince Fielder’s services next season?
With each passing day, the demeanor of most Brewers fans begins to fade ever so slightly regarding the status of their beloved first-baseman, Prince Fielder.
In 2011 (his final year under contract), Fielder is set to make $15.5 Million. Once his contract is up, rumor has it that agent Scott Boras will vouch for a contract at or above the infamous $300 Million range.
For a franchise with a 2011 payroll a shade under $85.5 Million, that’s ridiculously high.
So, for the time being, should Brewers fans begin to relinquish their constructive perceptions of the situation at hand?
By now the answer seems to be a resounding “yes”.
Though the Brewers are in the midst of a promising season, here are five Prince Fielder trade possibilities GM Doug Melvin and owner Mark Antanassio may consider by the end of the season.
Los Angeles Angels
Angels Get: Prince Fielder
Brewers Get: Dan Haren (RHP), two unnamed prospects
Though the Brewers went out and traded for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in the offseason, Prince Fielder’s talents would be more than enough to land another prime arm to join the rotation.
Case in point: Dan Haren.
Haren is a superstar talent that has a lot to give to Milwaukee’s rotation, and is on point to make $12.75 Million in 2011 with a contact set to expire in 2012 with a team option in 2013. Though he may only be with the Brewers for one to two seasons, a rental player of Haren’s caliber is an upgrade that makes Milwaukee World Series contenders.
Can you put a price on winning?
San Fransisco Giants
Giants receive: Prince Fielder
Brewers receive: Jonathon Sanchez (RHP), Madison Bumgarner (RHP)
The Giants have been rumored to be in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes for a while now.
What makes this deal possible is the plethora of pitching talent San Fransisco maintains at both the major league level as well as the minor league level. Both Jonathon Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner could be potential targets for Doug Melvin to key in on, as they both bring a lot to the table talent wise.
Likewise, the Giants have been without a “power” bat for quite some time, and Fielder would be able to fill in right away as San Fransisco’s first-baseman.
The only thing holding this deal back, however, is Tim Lincecum’s projected extension with the club that could call for an additional $100 Million.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers Get: Prince Fielder
Brewers Get: Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, several unnamed prospects
Like San Fransisco, the Dodgers are lacking a power bat to complement Matt Kemp in their lineup, and Prince Fielder would be an excellent upgrade from James Loney.
The only problem is, what would Milwaukee get in return for dealing away Fielder?
The Dodgers maintain several potential pieces to the puzzle. Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and notable minor league pitching prospects such as Zach Lee and Chris Withrow.
If Los Angeles is willing to deal away multiple arms for Fielder’s services, I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal gets done in a timely fashion.
Rangers Get: Prince Fielder
Brewers Get: C.J. Wilson (RHP), Derek Holland (RHP), several unnamed prospects
Unlike many teams vying for Prince Fielder’s services for next season, the Rangers maintain a plethora of potential deal-breakers that could but Milwakee’s golden slugger in the heart of Texas in 2011.
As we’ve already mentioned, Fielder is on point to make $15 Million in 2011, and C.J. Wilson’s $7 Million salary in 2011 would cover a good portion of Fiedler’s contract of traded to the Brewers.
However, there are other factors weighing heavily on this trade. Which other pitching prospects would Texas be willing to throw in? Could Derek Holland put this deal over the top?
At just 24 years old, Holland has a substantial amount of major league experience under his belt, and would be a prime prospect for Milwaukee’s starting rotation.
Orioles Get: Prince Fielder, Yuniesky Betancourt (SS)
Brewers Get: Jeremy Guthrie (RHP), several unnamed prospects & compensatory cash
The Orioles are a team on the rise with a lot of talent to dispense, but could be hesitant to deal away future difference-makers with a decent farm-system under their belt.
Before this season, Baltimore signed Derrek Lee to a one-year, $7.25 Million contract. Once he is gone, the Orioles could use that cap space as leverage to pursue Prince Fielder’s services.
Don’t think they have what it takes? Let’s remember: the Orioles made a run at Mark Teixeira two winters ago. They obviously have both the prospects and money to make this deal worthwhile for both parties.
Be that as it may, the Brewers won’t settle for just any return-on-investment. And in Fielder’s case, that could mean all but emptying Baltimore’s farm system.
Prospects such as shortstop Jonathon Schoop, starters Tim Bascom and Wynn Pelzer would be great additions to a potential deal between the two clubs, but you might as well throw in Jeremy Guthrie, because unproven prospects won’t be enough for Milwaukee to deal away Fielder.