Brewers GM Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt on Saturday that his club has made little progress toward a contract extension with slugger Prince Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras.
Melvin and Co. had been in talks with Boras during spring training, but it sounds like the two sides have very different opinions on the big man’s value. Fielder is in the midst of a down year, batting a pedestrian .260/.392/.473 by his high standards. Of course, there is plenty of baseball yet to be played this season and Cecil’s son is certainly capable of turning things around. He does have 15 home runs and a 968 OPS in June.
The Brewers may hang onto Fielder until the offseason and then try to trade him for a batch of young prospects, but Melvin acknowledged that he will listen to offers from other clubs in the meantime.
“Whenever a deal feels good, you make it,” said the general manager. “There’s no
timetable for that. Somebody could call up and say, ‘Hey, would you do
lot of guys snoop around to see what’s going on. If somebody asks about
a player, I’ll say, ‘You’ve asked about him. What will you offer?'”
Fielder, who turned 26 in May, is under contract through the 2011 season. He is a .281/.382/.542 career hitter with 175 home runs over his first five-plus professional seasons.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.
Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.
The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.
Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.