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 Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.