MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy wonders whether the Brewers are going to try to approach Prince Fielder with a contract extension. Doug Melvin wisely tells McCalvy that he wouldn’t tell him about any talks even if they happened, and then adds:
“But at some point, we said we want to get together. It has to be the
right time. Is it the right time now? I don’t know the answer to that.”
It’s OK if you don’t know the answer, Doug, because whether you approach Fielder or not is even the most pertinent question. This is: when was the last time Scott Boras let one of his top clients sign a contract extension two years before reaching free agency? I suppose it may have happened once or twice, but I wouldn’t bet a bag of chips on it.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.