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  1. Time to say the same thing about the M’s and Cliff Lee?

    Comment by Dan — May 18, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  2. Ok – admittedly I am a bit confused. First, if we were talking about the Red Sox, who are looking up at the Rays and the Yanks, maybe you could convince me that this is a good idea in the middle of May. We’re talking about the Reds and Cardinals. One of those two teams was considered a playoff contender coming into the year, and one certainly was not. Moreover, Fielder is eligible for arbitration this off-season and is not a free agent until 2011. He also happens to be 26 years old (as opposed to Howard). Giving up on the season now is a mistake, and trading Fielder now (particularly with Boras as his agent) would be a bigger mistake.

    Comment by Toz — May 18, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  3. Maybe, though given the relative strengths of the farm system I think it might make more sense for the M’s to just ride it out and take the draft picks. All depends on what other teams are willing to offer for Lee.

    But while the talent might not be comparable, you could make a better case for some other teams, such as Cleveland with Westbrook. Not everything Mr. Cameron writes has to relate back to the Mariners.

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  4. The Mariners farm system is not that strong. It’s deep but has few potential stars. Trading Cliff Lee could give them the future star hitter they need, gambling on two draft picks is not as good of an idea. Though I don’t think the M’s are quite ready to give up on the season.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  5. The Red Sox don’t have a talent like Fielder, though, at last not one as close to free agency (Drew?). That year is part of his value. Ultimately, of course, how much sense any of this makes depends on what might be offered in return — but the offers will be higher for 1.5 years of Fielder than they would be for a half-year rental.

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  6. Yes, SELL LOW on Prince.

    Good call Dave. When did this site suddenly produce such weak analysis? The equivalent of a 2m30s pop song.

    Comment by TedWilson — May 18, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  7. Actually, it was precisely because of the weakness of the M’s system that I was suggesting they gamble on the draft picks. You look at what the M’s traded away in return for a full year of Lee and I’m not convinced they will get a “future star” in return for half a season, even from a team making a desperate push in a tight race. And yeah, I don’t think they’re willing to concede the division yet (they’re not looking up at a St Louis and Cincinnati, more like a Cincinnati and two Milwaukees, not that that matters when they are playing like a Houston). It would probably work in reverse, actually: if they got a great offer for Lee they might use it as cover for throwing in the towel, rather than the other way around.

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  8. It pains me to say as a Brewer fan, but this is exactly the start I hoped for. Coming into the season I didn’t really see this team as being all that much better than last year’s version. With a little luck maybe they’d end up at 85 or 87 wins. If they had followed their recent pattern of hot start, cool finish management would have believed that trading Fielder would kill our chances at the wild card/3 million fans again. With this terrible start/Howard’s extension hopefully it is enough ammo to convince Melvin to pull the trigger and bring back some high upside arms which the organization so desperately needs.

    Comment by grandbranyan — May 18, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  9. The longer they wait to trade Prince the lower his value gets as he draws nearer and nearer to free agency and the acquiring team has him subsequently for less and less time.

    Comment by grandbranyan — May 18, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  10. While there will always be a market for a 26-year-old 40-homer slugger like Prince Fielder, he is hampered by the fact that he plays at the deepest position in baseball, one of the reasons everybody disliked the Ryan Howard deal. So which contender would actually need him and has the prospects needed to acquire him?

    Yankees? No.
    Red Sox? No. (You could DH him but I don’t think he’d like it and it would hurt his value.)
    Rays? Have the prospects, better than Pena, but would never do it.
    Tigers? No.
    Twins? No.
    Blue Jays? Really? No.
    Texas? No.
    Angels? No.
    Oakland? Chris Carter waiting in the wings. Other than Matt Holliday, rarely trade FOR stars.
    Phillies? No.
    Marlins? Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez.
    Nationals? Lack prospects after Strasburg.
    Braves? Freddie Freeman, Troy Glaus.
    Mets? Ike Davis.
    Padres? No.
    Giants? What do you do with Aubrey Huff?
    Dodgers? No.

    You could make an argument that the Rockies and Prince are a match made in heaven, but that comes at the cost of benching the best player in franchise history. The Rockies have the pitching (Jhoulys Chacin, Christian Friedrich) to get a deal done, but Cook, Smith, and Hammel struggling so bad and De La Rosa on the mend, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to be trading pitching right now.

    The Giants would love him and they probably have the prospects to get it done (Bumgarner, Wheeler) but Huff isn’t exactly their worst player.

    How much more production does he give the Nats over Adam Dunn?

    The A’s could try trading Trevor Cahill for him and DH’ing him and Daric Barton but seems unlikely and things didn’t work out great with Holliday, you don’t want to sap Fielders power and thus his trade value in the future.

    The Blue Jays are surprisingly in third and have Lyle Overbay at 1st, but do they have the prospects to get a deal done? Brett Cecil, Brandon Morrow, Zach Stewart… and are they willing to gamble the farm in the AL East with the Rays and Yankees looking so good and risk not signing Fielder long term?

    Sorry for the long comment, but rosterbation can be addictive.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  11. I hope the M’s keep Lee so that he can leave after the season. That way he won’t bolster the SP of some team actually contending for the playoffs. The M’s are a complete mess, bad bad roster construction, counting on a head case like Bradley, wasting another great year from Ichiro, Kotchman has finished regressing after one good season and is likely going to be out of baseball in a year…

    And if their farm system is so deap where are all the players helping out the M’s team right now? Other than Saunders there isn’t any material help that I can see.

    The M’s are toast, any draft picks they get for Lee would be better just do to spite as opposed to seeing him pitching for some other team.

    Comment by Nax — May 18, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  12. Completely agree with Kenny. Thanks for saving me the trouble of writing it all up. Realistically, with the Red Sox tanking and the Mets happy with Ike, the market for Prince is not that big right now since I don’t see him going to a relatively small market team.

    If the Giants were willing to spend on 1B they would have Adam LaRoche now. Huff has already said he’ll move to accommodate Posey (if needed) so presumably he’d move for Fielder too (LF?) but I don’t see the Giants spending the prospects or the money.

    Comment by John Franco — May 18, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

  13. I think you’ll find that teams generally have gotten a lot better value out of trading players than out of banking on compensation. They won’t necessarily end up with two great picks. If a team signs him that doesn’t have a first round pick for instance. Or they could end up with roughly the equivilent of Steve Baron and Nick Franklin which is nice but not the guarantee you can get out of.. well.. knowing what you’re getting when you trade a player rather than wait til next years draft. Plenty of midseason trades have gone down for pitching in which the pitcher was a free agent after the year and the returning team got some pretty good players. Right now the M’s could really use a Matt LaPorta in the farm system.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  14. Yes, lets cost the M’s a great prospect out of spite for not doing well this year. Excellent idea.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  15. And I said the system was deep, but not especially talented like other teams. They have a lot of good players, but few great ones that could help the team this year or next.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  16. As if any GM believes in this SSS. Prince is a premier slugger. His slow start won’t do anything to diminish his value.

    Comment by Obligatory Sox Fan — May 18, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  17. It’s not a fantasy baseball league. No one’s going to get Prince at a discount based on a month and a half.

    Comment by Teej — May 18, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  18. Kenny,

    SF: I don’t see why Aubrey Huff is enough to discourage the Giants from wanting a legit 1B.

    Texas: Why no? You really think they’re that high on Smoak?

    Braves: Glaus is making like $2m and could back up both 1B and 3B. Freeman is doing pretty poorly, may well not be ready for Opening Day ’11. They could perhaps be in the market for a Fielder or A-Gon. And they most definitely have the high-upside minor league arms: Teheran/Delgado/Vizcaino/Lopez are all dynamite.

    I dunno. Just thinkin’.

    Comment by beer me — May 18, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  19. Toz, you post lost validity as soon as you suggested it would be reasonable for the Red Sox, a top 5 payroll team, to “rebuild” after a bad start a month into the season. Even if they aren’t going to make the playoffs that statement is ridiculous.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  20. SF: Just what do you do with Aubrey Huff though? Bench him? He’s one of the best hitters on that team still. Move him to the outfield and lose runs on defense? Seems counter-productive. And Milwuakee probably won’t want him in return.

    ATL: Again, Glaus is one of the better hitters on the team. You’re not going to move him to third and bench Chipper Jones. So where do you fit in Glaus/Chipper/Fielder? No question about Atlanta’s prospect situation being great… but you bench one of those 3 guys every game?

    Texas: Yes, I believe they are that high on Smoak. You could make the argument that they trade for Fielder now and demote Smoak while Fielder produces at a higher level now when you make a world series run (which they absolutely can) and then trade him or let him walk next year and bring up Smoak again. But would they do that at the cost of Martin Perez or one of their other gigantic name prospects? I suppose if they could use a package that did not include Perez, it would be feasible.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  21. Kenny, I actually think the Red Sox may be the most likely destination. They’re in a division where they need Stars, and Fielder, with his age and OBP, is a fairly “saber-friendly” player. Moving Youkilis back to third is probably a bad idea, but the team was heavily rumored to be interested in Adrian Gonzalez as recently as last summer.

    However the defensive alignment shakes out, the Sox really need some offense to compete with the Yankees, and I think they know it.

    Comment by sumajestad — May 18, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  22. The Sox are a likely destination, but I would think it would be more likely after the season, rather than in-season. When they still have Beltre. While they’re in 4th place. They seem smarter than trading one of their star pitching prospects (or two) during a season that it seems very unlikely that they’ll make the playoffs. I expect (or if I were the GM, I WOULD) be sellers at the deadline. They could have the best farm system in baseball easily by August if they become sellers.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  23. I don’t think the Dodgers, Mets and Giants are automatic no’s. Fielder is a huge upgrade on Loney and Huff while Davis is certainly no lock to be a star at 1B (in fact he’s probably projected to be about average at his best with his lack of power). The Angels don’t have a great DH either so they could be in the mix as well.

    Comment by schlomsd — May 18, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  24. beer me:

    SF: I completely agree.

    Texas: Yeah, they’re that high on Smoak. They’d be crazy not to be.

    Braves: Also completely agree, but look what happened last time they gave up a bunch of prospects for a stud 1B. Didn’t turn out too well.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  25. Why would the Red Sox become sellers when they expect to compete every year? All they accomplish with that is making their competitors stronger for the years to come, unless they trade with the national league. Nobody’s want to give up big talent for the guys they have to trade though…the contracts are all too large.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  26. Plus, they would get run out of town by the fans.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  27. Ok Kenny, that makes sense. I guess you’re right: the suitors are there, but it’s hard to see anyone giving the Brewers back what they would have hoped for, given that nobody’s particularly desperate for Fielder.

    Comment by beer me — May 18, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  28. James Loney might not be a superstar, but he’s far from being the Dodgers biggest problem, he’s still got a couple of club years left for cheap, and the Dodgers aren’t exactly prospect-rich. But because they are the Dodgers, they have money, Manny is a FA after this season – its possible.

    Ike Davis may not be Justin Smoak but for a guy drafted less than two years ago in the first round, he’s been pretty successful. It would look really stupid to trade away some great prospects for a year and a half of Prince Fielder unless they make the World Series (unlikely even with Fielder)

    Again, this is the problem with having a 1st baseman to trade… almost no contender needs him. The Angels aren’t going to trade a Mike Trout for a Prince Fielder and then hope he’s okay with DHing.

    Now, I could name you a handful of non-contenders that need Prince Fielder, but that’s never going to happen. Maybe if the Mariners pull to within a few games by July.. but other than that the Brewers are going to have to wait for an injury or something.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  29. as per Prince Fielder’s value, everyone has made the point, day after day, that you must be careful with a man of his physique because he could lose it all at any moment.

    Either that line of thinking is accurate and Prince’s performance is being watched continuously day after day for signs of physical breakdown or wear down or this line of thinking is hugely exaggerated on the fat boys and now you are telling me that everyone was just kidding about fat boys being a risk.

    Now you tell me to stop reading into such performance changes, a slump doesn’t matter with fat boys,

    Comment by TedWilson — May 18, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  30. Seriously, this website has done little significant research this year. Just a lot of off the hip commentary. Must be pre-occupied with making money now.

    Comment by TedWilson — May 18, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  31. They would get run out of town by fans if they trade Adrian Beltre? Marco Scutaro? Mike Cameron? JD Drew? Mike Lowell? Hideki Okajima? I’m not saying that the Red Sox are going to get any star prospects in return, but they have a crapload of moveable pieces that could help out REAL contending teams. And yes, they should trade Papelbon.
    Would it look better to fans if they traded Clay Buchholz to get a possible rental when they’re already 8.5 games back? And 6.5 back of the Yankees? They need to do some winning before they start thinking about being buyers.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  32. Dave posted this last week.

    Comment by Fred — May 18, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  33. And Beer Me, I agree that it makes perfect sense for all of those teams, and many others to have Fielder on their teams in terms of being a better baseball team… The Giants would be better if they benched Huff and played Fielder everyday… but from a business perspective, most teams don’t have space for Fielder without running themselves into a corner because this isn’t fantasy baseball where you make a drop and hope for the best.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  34. Oh, go munch a dick.

    Comment by Toz — May 18, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  35. Boy, sure is rough when the free site you frequent isn’t giving you enough significant research. Better cancel your subscription.

    Comment by Everett — May 18, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  36. Not sure why you’re complaining. The raison d’etre for places like fangraphs is to tell almost every team to sell off their high priced stars for prospects, unless the star in question is one of the tiny number of stars who offer good value (as defined by statheads) for their contract. It makes you wonder who is supposed to be buying if everyone should be selling, but when you define the highest good for a team as value and payroll efficiency, selling high on Fielder and anyone else who costs ‘too much’ makes a certain amount of sense.

    Comment by bflaff — May 18, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  37. The oakland A’s are desperate for offense and have a pitching surplus to interest brewers


    Comment by MLBfan25 — May 18, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  38. Fielder to Oakland or Boston, please.

    Comment by Blah — May 18, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

  39. And now the Brewers have lost eight straight games. Even worse, they had a 2-run lead in the 9th inning. Poof.

    Things are just going that way for some teams this year.

    Comment by ThundaPC — May 18, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  40. I’m sure every GM in baseball has access to fancy tools like Baseball Reference, and are more than well aware that his current numbers are in line with how he starts every season. If anything, his value is at a sort of peak before the second half when he historically goes on a tear.

    Comment by Sixto Lezcano — May 18, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  41. Fielder to Oakland

    Jemile Weeks (Weeks brothers reunion)
    Sam Demel -reliever

    Cahill, Mortensen could go into the brewers rotation today. Figueroa power lefty mid 90s FB, Baseball america loves this guy. Demel is dominating AAA reliever, possible future closer. Hrod another power reliever, throws 100 mph

    Comment by MLBfan25 — May 18, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  42. Boston: Fielder doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so it doesn’t really matter if he likes it or not. But that’s besides the point, since Boston would probably want to sign him long-term as the anti-Teixeira, and though they might use him at DH this season, he could be back at 1B in the future.

    Texas: Smoak is great, but if the Rangers are in contention and need the bat they could go for the rental of Fielder and let him walk after 2011. Smoak and Davis are both not performing very well, and there’s always the ever-present threat of Guerrero getting injured and opening up the DH spot as well. Ownership situation in Texas makes it complicated though

    Atlanta: Glaus is performing alright compared to the rest of the terrible Braves offense, but he’s no superstar. He’s also a huge injury risk and could go down at any time. The Braves are a team with too much pitching and no offense, the Brewers are the opposite, a deal might make sense if the Braves plan to contend this season. They’ve been almost as bad as the Brewers and the painful memory of the Teixeira trade probably complicates things though.

    Rockies/Giants are conceivable landing places too. I don’t see why people bring Tampa Bay up. They have the prospects, but their offense is raking as it is, and if they need a 1B/DH at some point they have plenty of internal options (use Rodriguez at DH, Zobrist at 2B, call up Jennings, etc.)

    Comment by Sixto Lezcano — May 18, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  43. Strawmen are fun.

    Comment by BIP — May 18, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  44. The Red Sox aren’t going to trade for a rental…if they trade for a guy who’s going to be a free agent, they have the funds to re-sign him.

    Ask yourself this. What are they going to get for any of the players you just listed? They are all players making a lot of money. They were all free agents in the past few years. They couldn’t even get Max Ramirez for Mike Lowell, and the guy has completely imploded at AAA. They just signed Beltre, Scutaro and Cameron. How idiotic would it be to trade them for mid-to-low grade prospects right now? Pretty dumb. JD Drew? They’d have to give him away for free for another team to want him with that contract.

    I’m not saying the Red Sox will be buyers, but they sure as hell aren’t going to trade away all of the free agents they just signed.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  45. You must be an A’s fan.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  46. Sixto,

    In regards to Texas and the Braves you’re still pointing out injury risks and I agree, if an injury happens, it makes some sense. But how does it make sense today? If you have a feasible way for the Braves to play Chipper/Glaus/Prince at the same time, please tell me. Until Chipper or Glaus get hurt though, why risk another Teixeira disaster? Texas would probably be a top-5 destination when the time comes, but that time is not now. Not at all.

    And no, Prince has no say in where he goes.. but is that good baseball business? Trade for Prince Fielder, a superstar, and TELL him he’s going to DH? What if he loves playing the field? Why start off on a bad foot like that with your “anti-Teixeira”?

    If Fielder literally played any other position, it would be a different story. But he doesn’t. He plays 1B. When he’s a free agent, he’ll get a mega-contract from a team that has an opening at 1B. But free agency is different than trading market in the middle of a season. It makes sense for the Brewers to trade him now, but it makes no sense for anyone to trade FOR him now. The Brewers asking price will be high, and no team will be willing to pay that much right now. Like the Braves would be smart to trade Julio Teheran in a package for Prince Fielder because there is a chance that Glaus and/or Chipper will get hurt? Then they don’t get hurt and you’re sitting Glaus and Chipper every other game.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  47. I don’t think it’s quite that dramatic. Even papa Fielder lasted through his age 32 season, which would give Prince 6 more years.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  48. RM –

    1.) They DID get Max Ramirez for Mike Lowell. He just didn’t pass a physical but otherwise they got a prospect for Mike Lowell so the argument is invalid.

    2.) If they don’t trade Adrian Beltre and they have Kevin Youkilis and they trade for Prince Fielder and they have David Ortiz, where do you play all of those guys? Beltre’s defensive value at 3rd would be stupid to get rid of. Even if you did want to release Ortiz or bench him, as I said above, why do you want to trade for a Prince Fielder and then tell him to DH? What if he doesn’t want to. Then how are you going to re-sign him? And they don’t trade for rentals, yet Jason Bay is on the Mets.

    3.) You trade those guys because they are on 1 and 2 year deals and the Red Sox aren’t going anywhere.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  49. I agree they should trade Papelbon, though. That is a move that would actually make sense. He doesn’t have a hefty contract, his performance is in the decline (but it hasn’t manifested itself in his surface numbers yet), and the Sox have no need for him this year.

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  50. 1) Ok, so they got Max Ramirez. What could he possibly do for a team like the Red Sox? Hang out at AAA, that’s about it.

    2) I’m not even arguing that the Red Sox should trade for Fielder.

    3) Still doesn’t make sense….

    Comment by R M — May 18, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  51. Well I don’t think anyone was implying that Fielder will be traded this very moment, in mid-May. Hardly any huge trades like that are going to happen until June at the earliest, which is why I brought up the possibility of Atlanta and Texas as possible destinations because there is a very good chance that one or both of Glaus/Guerrero (or Chipper, if Glaus moved to third) could be on the DL by then.

    Comment by Sixto Lezcano — May 18, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  52. Where did this myth originate, that overweight sluggers fall apart in their late 20s? It’s ridiculously unfounded.

    Comment by Sixto Lezcano — May 18, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  53. This is more in reply to Kenny below me, but there’s no ‘Reply’ button for that post, so..

    Anyway, I think the idea would be that depsite other problems at other positions(2B, 3B), the Dodgers might still want to upgrade at 1B, and in a trade for Fielder, James Loney would go to the Brewers, along with at least 2 prospects. It makes sense since Loney is still an arbitration-eligible player who wouldn’t cost as much as Fielder and would fill in nicely at 1B the next few years while the Brewers develop more talent.

    Of course, it would be a step down from Fielder’s production to Loney’s production, but the other talent acquired in a Fielder trade would be the key to dealing Fielder anyway. ;)

    So, yes, the Dodgers can’t be written off just because they have someone at 1B like Loney, IMO. :)

    Comment by Jim — May 18, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  54. And, in general, it’s notable that in a post called ‘Break Up the Brewers’, the only player of note being discussed in potential trade scenarios is Prince Fielder.

    Which begs the question: Who else is there to trade?

    The answer: Not much of anyone, really. If the Brewers do decide to call it quits and trade players, Fielder seems like the only significant asset of value they can trade.

    –Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo are the future building blocks, both being signed to long term contracts(Braun through 2015, Gallardo through 2014 with an option for 2015). They’ll be around for a while.

    –Trevor Hoffman and Jeff Suppan are untradeable, let’s face it. The Brewers have mounted a heavy campaign around Hoffman getting to 600 saves, and they’re not going to trade him(or even release him) until he gets there. But hopefully they’ll decline that 2011 option and he’ll retire gracefully at season’s end. Suppan also has an option for 2011, but the clock is ticking on how long it will be until the Brewers release him, since he has no trade value, essentially.

    –Many of the young players like Alcides Escobar, Carlos Gomez, Rickie Weeks, Chirs Narveson, and Mat Gamel(who’s injured) are presumably players to build around, and perhaps the Brewers should have traded Gamel for something last season, but he’s still someone they could use in the future or trade, so I don’t see any of these players going anywhere for the time being, as they fill(or could fill) roles on the team and are cheap.

    –Randy Wolf was just signed to his brand new contract this offseason, and while he could be traded, would the Brewers do that? I could see an argument being made for keeping him around as a solid #2 starter on that staff for the time being–maybe next year at the trading deadline, but this year seems a bit premature, and any teams wanting him would want the Brewers to kick in a heavy amount of salary, presumably.

    –That leaves players like Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Casey McGehee, Carlos Villaneuva, LaTroy Hawkins, and Todd Coffey. None of these players would fetch much, except perhaps McGehee, but it might be better to hold onto him for now, since he almost fits into the above category with Weeks, Escobar, and co. At one olint, Hart did have some trade value, and he’s hitting well now, so perhaps he’s their best trading chip right now aside from Fielder?

    Comment by Jim — May 18, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  55. Fair enough. Dave said its time to “put him on the block” and I agree. I was just pointing out that right now being “put on the block” and not being “put on the block” are just about the same thing because few teams are buying a first baseman. If all of a sudden the Mariners were taking offers for Cliff Lee, it would be a more active storyline at the moment.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

  56. That last sentence in the final paragraph should say:

    “At one point, Hard did have some trade value…”

    No idea what an olint is. ;)

    Comment by Jim — May 18, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  57. The best of the M’s farm system is in AA, but none of the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx are going to be able to help them this year. And the roster construction of the big league team (asinine marketing-oriented DH decisions aside) can’t be as bad as the results indicate — or at least can’t be the entirety of the problem — unless you think that simply being in the same clubhouse together has somehow caused so many players to simultaneously bat at career lows. (And there’s no evidence that has anything to do with Bradley, btw.)

    The Mariners are tied with the Blue Jays for the 3rd worst team BABIP in all baseball, so some of it is simple bad luck. But the Jays have been overcoming that in part thanks to several players (Bautista, Buck, Wells) who are overachieving at the moment, something almost any team has at any given time… any team except the Mariners, apparently. Other than Ichiro being Ichiro and Gutierrez showing last year wasn’t a fluke, the Mariners somehow don’t have any regular players hitting at or above their career norms. Unless you can somehow predict that, I don’t know how to construct a roster to avoid it. Add a bullpen melting down in close games at about the same unlikely rate they were shutting down close ones last year, and you have a recipe for an ugly string of losses… which somehow still leaves the Mariners closer to the lead of their mediocre division than the Red Sox, Indians, White Sox, Orioles, or Royals are to theirs. (Not to mention closer than the Diamonbacks, Astros, or — getting back to the supposed topic here — the Brewers.)

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  58. To Jim,

    Yes, Loney in a Fielder deal would make sense. The Brewers don’t appear to have anyone to step in right away should they trade Prince… maybe Mat Gamel could play 1st? I don’t know. Loney in a package to the Brewers along with Ethan Martin and some other players.. I think the problem for the Dodgers could be the “other players” Their farm system isn’t that great. And long term I’d be worried about their pitching more than their hitting, so trading away starting pitching prospects like Ethan Martin seems like a gamble. But it is the LA market, they aren’t afraid to trade for superstars, it’s just a matter of how much they’re willing to gamble.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  59. Why is it so hard to have intelligent discussions on the internet? Oh yeah, GIDT

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  60. And so unilluminating, even when set on fire.

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  61. Who do you think the Sox would rather have: Mike Lowell or Max Ramirez? Lowell has no place on this team. Ramirez might some day. Any prospect would be worth Mike Lowell to the Red Sox.

    They aren’t all making that much money.

    JD Drew makes a lot of money, yes.
    Mike Lowell is in the final year of a contract that pays 12 million this year. Prorated to 4.5 million by the trading deadline. Sox could eat that if they got a half-decent prospect in return.
    Adrian Beltre has a 1 year, 9 million dollar contract and a 5 million player option next year that he probably wouldn’t exercise unless he reached the 640 PAs needed to bump it to a 10 million dollar option. He’s already worth .9 WAR this year, equaling 3.7 million dollars thus far, meaning he will easily surpass the 9 million he’s being paid on this pace. If the Red Sox were 10 games back in July and looking up at Tampa Bay and New York, the question is why wouldn’t you trade him? Are they going to sign him to an extension? Unlikely because they’re still looking ahead to the 2011 1B free agent class.
    Mike Cameron is only making 15 million over his 2 year contract after being worth 8.6 wins the last two seasons. I’m not saying it would be likely that they’d trade him so shortly after signing him to a two-year contract, but he does have significant value.
    Scutaro is being paid 5 million this season and next.
    I’m just saying the Red Sox, once they realize they won’t win this season (because Lackey was a stupid signing and they lack dependable hitting and pitching) have options.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  62. They have Brett Lawrie waiting in the wings, so I don’t think Rickie Weeks is in their long term plans. He is also a good trade chip.

    But no, I don’t think their is much sense in “break up the Brewers” so much as “build around Braun/Gallardo/Escobar.”

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

  63. Joser are you writing that to me? I’m not sure what that’s in response to.

    Comment by Kenny — May 18, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

  64. Now, why would the A’s want Prince Fielder.

    You don’t give up premium prospects for a DH, and Daric Barton is a really good, cost controlled, young player, and he’s at 1B.

    If an AL team trades for Prince, they most likely will have an open 1B spot, which the A’s do not.

    Comment by BX — May 18, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  65. Boy, screwed up again–that’s obviously Hart. Not Hard.

    Avoid the obvious joke. ;)

    Comment by Jim — May 18, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  66. And, can we PLEASE stop saying the A’s have a pitching surplus. If the A’s legitimately had a pitching surplus, Cahill would be in AAA right now. And Mazzaro, since its nearly inevitable that he’ll get the callup when the A’s need a 5th starter, would also be in AAA.

    The A’s don’t have a surplus.

    Comment by BX — May 18, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

  67. If the Brewers move Fielder they aren’t only giving up on this year but next year as well. That means if Weeks isn’t interested in signing at the Brewers offer he needs to be moved. Once Weeks is moved Wolf needs to be moved because the Brewer can’t afford to have him when they can’t expect to win. Zaun, Coffey, Bush and Vargas look to be moved this season. Otherwise they walk. Davis’ option is not picked up. Hart is either traded or non-tendered. Hoffman retires.

    Comment by Rob — May 18, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  68. I don’t think so.

    Unlike the Brewers, the M’s are close enough in the division, and the AL West is close enough. No team in the West is going to pull away unless someone makes a major trade.

    The Rangers look the best, but I doubt Lewis and Wilson keep up their stellar performance.

    Actually, the Mariners would be one of the teams who should try to trade FOR Fielder.

    They have a positional need at 1B, AND a need at DH. Yes, Kotchman’s struggles are SSS, but his upside isn’t high, and the upgrade from Kotch to Fielder, coupled with a cheap DH upgrade, would really help them.

    However, what pieces do you give up?

    Comment by BX — May 18, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  69. Yes, I k now about Lawrie–the problem there is that he’s far enough away from contributing at the ML level that I’m not sure that trading away Weeks now is the thing to do.

    Weeks will be arbitration eligible one more time this next offseason, and then a free agent after 2011–somewhat surprising to me, as I thought he was younger than that(maybe it’s all the time he spent on the DL that threw me off!)

    So, while this summer would be the best time to trade him to get max value(much like Fielder), who would play 2B? I guess they could shift McGehee over to 2B, as I think he’s played there, but then who plays 3B? Gamel? By all accounts, he’s not really a great defensive 3B, but perhaps the Brew Crew could make do. Counsell is a utility infielder at best, and I don’t know of anyone else high up in the system who could be serviceable at 3B.

    Perhaps their best strategy is to hold off on trading Weeks until this offseason, when they’ll know better how much money they have and also the progress of Brett Lawrie. If Lawrie can make it all the way to AAA by this summer, perhaps the Brewers trade Weeks this offseason with the intent of using Lawrie next season at 2B, sure. Even if Lawrie isn’t ready, maybe there will be a stopgap 2B on the free agent market that they can sign this offseason and still trade Weeks to restock their minor league system.

    Comment by Jim — May 18, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  70. I don’t think so. This year, definitely, but not next year.

    1- You can always ask for prospects who are close to MLB ready, and while they may not be of help to a team contending this year, or not fill a position of need, they’d really be of help next year.

    2- They’re not going to replace Fielder with a replacement level player—they’re going to give the job to Mat Gamel, who won’t be as good as Fielder, but is a decent bet to be a 2 WAR player.

    If they use the savings from Fielder, the prospects they get from trading him, along with the savings from getting Suppan’s albatross, Bill Hall, and Hoffman off the books (I’m counting ~27MM so far),

    Challenge will be that Davis and Bush also hit FA, which means the Brewers have got to be savvy with that rotation.

    It will be a challenge, but its very possible. With the amount of money they have freeing up, VERY possible.

    Comment by BX — May 18, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  71. No, I’m mostly agreeing with you. I was responding to “Nax” but the comment system flattens replies after a couple of levels. I probably should’ve used blockquotes, but I didn’t realize you were going to post so many other responses while mine sat half-written.

    Comment by joser — May 18, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

  72. The Brewers need a new GM before any trades for Fielder take place. If things continue as they are, and there’s no reason to think they won’t, Melvin will be fired at the end of the season. At that point you let a new GM see what the market is for Fielder. If it’s worth trading him, go for it. Otherwise make one more run. Doug Melvin needs to go first though. The Brewers are going to be looking for pitching and more pitching. Under no circumstances should he be allowed to trade Fielder for more has beens and nobodys.

    Comment by Brian — May 19, 2010 @ 1:22 am

  73. I hate to say it too, but I agree. Milwaukee needs some big time arms, and although I love Prince, realistically we all understand that Howard’s contract guarantees Fielder is gone after 2011. He’ll command a higher trade price right now than he will later, as the buyer will, at the very least, get half of 2010 and all of 2011.

    Sad to see you go, Prince!

    Comment by STEALTH — May 19, 2010 @ 1:48 am

  74. Why is everyone so intent on the Brewers trading away Fielder? Here’s an idea: re-sign him! If the Cards can have Holliday and Pujols, why can’t the Brewers have Braun and Fielder? They have a new stadium and seemingly good attendance. I just don’t get why this can’t be done?

    Is the farmy system just berefit of any pitching talent at all? Because at the major league level, that’s their biggest problem. Dave Bush should really not be allowed on a pitching staff.They only have 2 pitchers with any semblance of quality (Gallardo and Wolf). I guess if they have no arms to speak of on the way from the Minors, then it would make sense to trade Fielder.

    Comment by JoeC — May 19, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  75. The Brewers have several problems that can all be fixed and need to be addressed very soon.
    1- The M&M show needs to be taken off the air. Macha and Melvin have created their own problems which manfiest in the teams performance. Macha cannot relate to the players as well as maybe Willie Randolph, and Melvin, the GM thought that Viagra could help older pitchers pitch into the 6th inning.
    2- Only two of the Milwaukee Brewers potential starters have a different pitching approach, whether, right-handed or left. Gallardo sets the standard and their second best pitcher Narvesson, has an interesting array of pitches. But the other starters all pitch the same way, soft toss, curve-change-up, from the left or right. We need some power right-handed arms.
    3-There is currently no management staff that has the cahones to look Fielder in the eyes and tell him that his selfishness is hurting the team. It needs to happen! What ever happened to going to right field.
    4- Finally, they have to be willing to play small ball and it does not matter whether Rickie Weeks or Corey Hart is batting lead-off. The goal is to get on base as the lead-off hitter, and then the number 2 hitter advances him.

    Just a thought from a long-time Brewer fan

    Comment by Steve — May 19, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  76. JoeC has got it. GMs do not make decisions in a bubble and this isn’t fantasy baseball. The Brewers have one of the best attendance numbers in all of baseball and Prince is one of the reasons. Trading him would be an unimaginable gamble because prospects don’t always pan out. Philly can trade Lee for prospects because of the tremendous wealth of talent at the MLB level. Prince, Braun, Weeks and Gallardo are the entirety of the Brewers and trading him could be financial suicide because whatever you save in terms of salary you may actually lose ten fold in lost attendance, merchandise, and advertising revenue.

    With Suppan and Hart’s contracts up this year there will be 16 million just between those two which should free up enough cash to pay Prince and find a free agent pitcher not named Wolf.

    Comment by Edwincnelson — May 20, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  77. I dont know why everyone is saying that Huff prevents SF from trading for Prince Fielder.

    Huff may not be the best defensive outfielder in the world, but it’s not like Andres Torres and Jeff Bowker are Gold Glovers (I’m assuming DeRosa will be a non-factor with his wrist surgery failure).

    Move Huff to LF and the offense improves greatly with real power in the Giants lineup for the first time since Bonds.

    The Giants have the prospects and could even deal Cain or Sanchez.

    Rockies make sense too.

    Comment by bigbou — May 21, 2010 @ 12:39 am

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