On Tuesday, the fate of former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder was essentially sealed, when news broke over his reported nine-year, $214 Million contract with the Detroit Tigers. The total value of Fielder’s new deal — that will make him a Tiger through 2020 — is said to be the fourth-highest in MLB free-agent history, finishing just behind Albert Pujols’ 10-year, $240 Million offseason deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
While it’s clear that Fielder’s decision not to return to Milwaukee will prove detrimental to the Brewers’ offensive firepower for the prospective future, it should be noted that since Fielder turned down GM Doug Melvin’s arbitration offer last month, the Brewers will receive Detroit’s first-round pick (27th overall) in next June’s draft, as well as compensatory pick sandwiched between the first-round and the second-round.
MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweeted earlier today:
Milwaukee had already maintained the 28th overall selection in next summer’s draft, and with Detroit’s pick, they’ll have the unique opportunity to have back-to-back draft picks — an opportunity that should and will not be wasted.
Last June, the Brewers utilized their two first-round selections to pick up Texas RHP Taylor Jungmann at twelfth overall and Georgia Tech LHP Jed Bradley at fifteenth overall, adding much-need young pitching talent to what was arguably Major League Baseball’s worst farm system. Both are highly touted prospects who are expected to skip rookie-ball as well as low-A ball to start their first professional seasons in high-A Brevard County.
So while Fielder’s exit may sting for a while, it shouldn’t take long for Brewers fans to look into the future with great anticipation. Seldom to opportunities to have two first-round draft picks come along, and even fewer chances are there at having back-to-back first-round selections.
Granted, the Brewers do have a ways to go in terms of getting their farm system back on track. However, it’s conceivable that the addition of three more young, reputable pitchers to their system this summer will put the Brewers right back to where they were before selling the farm for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum last winter.
Only time will tell how management decides to use their back-to-back selections. Stay tuned to Brewers Rumors in the coming days for potential draft picks this June.