Oct. 26, 2008 | Philadelphia - Brewers general manager Doug Melvin never talks about players on his team that he is willing to trade but I've heard whispers around the club for some time that he'd be willing to listen to offers this winter for first baseman Prince Fielder.
According to the New York Post, the Brewers have put out word to other clubs that they would listen to offers for Fielder for a "substantial package." The Post cites an "industry source" which probably means someone with the Yankees because the story goes on to explain why that club would not be interested in trading for Fielder.
Here's link to that story:http://www.nypost.com/seven/10262008/sp ... 135325.htm
This story makes sense for several reasons:
1. Fielder is going to get a huge pay raise this winter in his first year of arbitration, from a salary of $670,000 to perhaps $6 million to $8 million. His agent is Scott Boras, a tough negotiator, and Fielder already turned down a five-year, $60 million offer earlier this year from the Brewers.
2. Fielder's offensive numbers dipped in 2008 but it was his regression in the field that really worried club officials. He committed 17 errors, second-most among NL first baseman.
3. Fielder's weight was noticeably up this year from 2007, another source of concern among club officials.
4. The Brewers probably will have to find replacements for starting pitchers CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, who are expected to leave through free agency. To get a top-notch starting pitcher these days, you have to give up a lot.
This does not mean the Brewers are going to trade Fielder. He is one of their top hitters and their only real left-handed threat in a predominantly right-handed lineup. It just means they would listen to offers. You've got to listen to offers for just about anybody, especially for the reasons listed above.
It'll be interesting to see if there are any substantial talks involving Fielder this winter or if it only gets to the "listening" stage.