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.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.