Should the Brewers trade Prince Fielder?

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Thumbnail image for fielder_prince_090928.jpgDave Begel of On Milwaukee magazine thinks the answer is yes:

If you think [The Brewers] are a team that should contend every year and expect
that they will always be in the hunt for a playoff berth, then you say
of course you have to sign Fielder. Both Braun and Fielder are better
when they are both in the lineup.

But if you believe the Brewers are trying to catch lightning in a
bottle and need a minor miracle to win a World Series against the big
boys, then you say it’s okay to trade Fielder. God knows what you could
get for him, but it would certainly be a lot of talent . . . I think this team gets a lot closer to the World Series without
Prince Fielder in the lineup.

Seems radical, but this viewpoint has a supporter in Rob Neyer, who thinks that while trading Fielder may be a big P.R. hit, bringing in some talent for the big guy, not having to pay him big money and installing Mat Gamel at first base — with Casey McGehee at third — would make Milwaukee a better, more competitive team for the long haul.

Would Doug Melvin consider this? Right now it seems that trading him would be far-fetched. But, if the Brewers find themselves out of the race at some point this year, it’s got to be something they consider, because (a) while Milwaukee draws well, they don’t have access to a money tree; and (b) Fielder, represented by Scott Boras, is not going to sign some club-friendly deal prior to hitting the open market.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.