Doug Melvin on Prince Fielder: “it’s simple math”

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Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spoke with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and, while Melvin said that he “might” meet with Scott Boras this week at the GM/owners meetings in Milwaukee, there is zero chance that the Brewers will make Fielder an offer.

Haudricourt breaks it down pretty simply: the Brewers have extended Ryan Braun and Yovanni Gallardo and have taken on Zack Greinke and other contracts. By the time the roster is filled out without Fielder, the payroll is going to be something close to where it was in 2011 or a bit more. The Brewers draw great crowds, but there are practical limits there.

Mat Gamel will not be Prince Fielder. Not by damn sight. He’s had 194 major league plate appearances sprinkled over four seasons and hasn’t produced at all. But he hit .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers in Nashville last year. He’s going to turn 27 next summer and it was his fourth time around the PCL — NOTE: I love that Nashville is in the Pacific Coast League — but there’s nothing for him to prove on the farm anymore. It’s put up or go away time for him and the Brewers know that.

As for Fielder, his time in Milwaukee is over. The Rangers have already said they’re out. The Dodgers have been ruled out by either Major League Baseball, Frank McCourt, the bankruptcy court or some combination of them all.  Everyone suspects that the Cubs will show interest, and the Marlins are giving off the vibe that they’ll do anything. Seattle badly needs some power. Maybe the Nationals will do something crazy again.  But there aren’t a ton of other teams that have both a hole at first base and a possible desire to spend money.

So, like, we’ll see.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.