Maybe it's not the best time to try to trade Prince Fielder


Prince Fielder headshot.jpgOn Saturday I opined that if the Brewers keep stinking up the joint they should consider trading Prince Fielder.  Ken Rosenthal makes a good point however: it may not be the best time to trade the guy.

Specifically, Rosenthal notes that, of the current contenders, not too many of them need a first baseman. And for those who do, Adiran Gonzalez may prove to be a far more attractive option, simply because he makes far less than Fielder does this year and next ($4.75 million to $10.1 million, respectively).

The Rays, Yankees, Twins, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals and Rockies are well-set at first base. The Braves could definitely use a Fielder/Gonzalez bat, but they were burned on the Teixeira trade a couple of years ago and aren’t likely to take on that kind of payroll in exchange for the kinds of prospects they’ll have to give up. The Mets could use the offense, but they just promoted their future first baseman and aren’t likely to mess with that (not should they).  The Rangers are not in any position to take on a big salary unless and until their sale is done, which could be tomorrow or could be never.

That leaves the Red Sox, really, who while they’re losing now, could conceivably jump back into things. But one team does not a market make, especially when there’s competition from the Padres. A team that I think, despite the nice record now, is still going to deal Gonzalez because it’s the smart play for the long term.

So, yeah, neat idea I guess, but really, who is going to trade for Prince Fielder this season?

UPDATE: Many of you correctly noted that Fielder would fit just nicely with the Giants. I have no idea how I whiffed on that.  Yes, the Giants could definitely use him.  And with their pitching they match up well with the Brewers as a trade candidate.  The only possible problem with this is that Fielder is still in his 20s, so Brian Sabean would probably send him to Fresno the minute the trade was done so he could get more seasoning.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.