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Brewers Not Listening To Offers for Fielder

November 13, 2009

Just saw this:

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he’s made clear to other GMs that he’s not listening to offers for first baseman Prince Fielder this offseason.  –

When I hear about GMs refusing to even discuss players, I can’t help but scratch my head.  From a PR perspective, sure – whatever.  Don’t let your fans think you’re actively trying to get rid of a popular, productive player.   But listening to offers doesn’t mean you’re shopping – it means you’re LISTENING.  And especially in the case of Prince Fielder, it makes a whole lot of sense to listen.

For one, he’s signed through 2011, which is attractive to potential trade partners as he would be more than just a rental.  For another, he’s represented by Scott Boras; this means he will certainly test free agency, and will not offer any hometown discount to the Brewers (as Fox also points out).  And let’s be perfectly frank here: Prince Fielder is a large man, and is essentially guaranteed to wind up as half of a baseball player a DH.   His value to an American League team grows exponentially there, and his value to an NL team (such as the Brewers) sharply declines.  He simply hasn’t been a very good first baseman at any point in his career. 

So why, why, why would the Brewers not even consider listening to trade offers?  I understand somewhat that mindset with a young, more versatile or defensively capable player that could be the cornerstone of a franchise for years (Ryan Braun).  I would understand with a young, cheap, high upside pitcher as well (Yovani Gallardo).  Fielder is neither of these things.  He won’t be with the Brewers forever.  And if he does end up resigning, it won’t be for cheap.

Maybe this is just a front by Doug Melvin to reassure the fanbase – but if I’m a part of that fanbase, I want my GM to be open to any idea that could improve my team.

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