Major League Baseball’s annual winter meetings are a mere three weeks away, and to the overwhelming surprise of many, the Milwaukee Brewers aren’t planning on meeting with former first-baseman Prince Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras, to discuss the possibility of a brand new contract offer.
After an advantageous 2011 campaign filled with speculation as to where the slugging first baseman might end up, Brewers GM Doug Melvin has said that the club has no imminent plans to make an offer to the now 27-year-old Fielder, saying:
“At this point, it’s important that we let Scott and Prince test the market.”
Last spring, Milwaukee attempted to sign Fielder to a contract extension worth approximately $100 Million, but management had never received a counter offer from Boras and company. They then proceed to sign Ryan Braun, among others, to a five-year, $105 Million deal that would make him a Brewers through 2020.
Fielder, who unlike fellow free-agents Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, has yet to meet with any clubs to talk about a new deal. Many point to the Cubs, Rangers, Mariners, Nationals and even Giants as the most likely destinations for the big bopper this winter.
Does this mean the Brewers are officially out of the running for Fielder’s services next season? Certainly not. Owner Mark Attanasio has voiced his admiration for the youngster over the past few months, and claims that Milwaukee is “planning on participating in the sweepstakes.”
Nevertheless, one can’t expect there to be a surplus of dough available toward bringing Fielder back next season. Only time will tell whether Milwaukee has a practical shot at the slugger.
Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter.