Report: Brewers giving up on re-signing Prince Fielder

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ESPN’s Buster Olney chimes in with the news a lot of Milwaukee fans have been dreading hearing:

Brewers indicating to others they are pretty much out on Prince Fielder, and are moving on.

Moving on to whom is an open question. While the Brewers are believed to be willing to spend $20 million per year to keep Fielder, they’re not likely to take all that money and use it elsewhere if Fielder is out of the mix. They’ll probably be players for Jimmy Rollins, with the idea of using him as a leadoff man and letting Rickie Weeks hit cleanup behind Ryan Braun. However, if they can’t sign Rollins, it’s doubtful that they’ll add a big name.

As for first base, they could try to add Carlos Pena or Derrek Lee, but they also have an in-house option in longtime prospect Mat Gamel. The 26-year-old Gamel is a career .222/.309/.374 hitter in 171 major league at-bats, but he’s batted .301/.374/.512 in 1,098 at-bats in Triple-A. It’d make sense to go with him if the Brewers use up their budget room for Rollins.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.