Prince Fielder has signed a 2 year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for 18MM. Doug Melvin and Scott Boras had been working on it the past week and were able to finalize it yesterday!
I think most of Milwaukee knew that the announcement of Prince Fielder attending the On-Deck event this weekend was a good sign. The shocking part is the deal that was done after both sides submitted their figure during arbitration. Considering that Prince & Boras put in for 8MM and Milwaukee put in for 6MM, they were 2MM off from one another (math skills yo). I think Fielder put his best foot forward as a goodwill gesture, by submitting a lowered offer than what had been anticipated. Most thought he would come in just under Ryan Howard's 18MM, seeing that both play first and Howard has one or two more years under his belt.
In all, this is great news. Not only does it lock up Prince Fielder for a couple of years, but it also allows the Brewers to position him to be traded if needed. If he blows up (not his weight) and pounds out 30+ homers for consecutive seasons, the Crew would have certainly gotten it's money worth. It will also raise Prince's value and we could unload him for much more.
I think the icing on the cake was what Boras told Melvin regarding Prince's weight. He said Fielder would be reporting to Spring Training in shape and has shed some pounds. We will see this weekend just how much he has worked on his conditioning. Although he doesn't have to report to Arizona for 3-4 weeks and he could still take off 5-10 lbs more, Milwaukee's fans will have a good indication if he has been working on his eating habits. Listen to me, like I should even be commenting on this....
The only question is why Milwaukee picked 18MM as the figure? After all, had they settled on 7MM in arbitration, he would've been owed 14MM. Unless I'm missing something here, they overpaid by 4MM. Unless that was an act of good faith for the brass' locking-up Braun last year for a 7 year contract before they did with Prince?.?
The pay-roll has swelled to just over 80MM and it looks as if the Brewers are done "building". Which I can completely agree with. If something runs a muck during the season or a trade can be made off CC proportions, they wouldn't have the wiggle room to fork out that sort of coin. Last year their payroll ballooned to 90MM, which is a pretty significant bump up the ladder for a small market team. Look at the Twins, and you'll see how it compares to them.
So this means our starting rotation is set with: Gallardo (R), Parra (L), Bush (R), Supan (R), and either McClung (R) or Capy (L, possibly brought up in May). Keep in mind, Carlos Villanueva could step in if needed. Although has an ideal fit with a mid-relief role. Same goes with McClung.
The infield and outfield are pretty much set as well, with no changes being made by Macha. Counsell will be back as the utility man (so it appears) and Nixon will share some starts in the outfield. Gwynn will be brought for a test run to, but not right away.
The Young Guns will make their appearances this season too. Mat Gamel, Escobar, and Salome should all get the call this year. Gamel probably being the first with Escobar to follow shortly after. Salome won't be until September, as Mike Rivera is backing up Kendall.
Jim Powell has left Milwaukee for Atlanta, as expected. It's his old stomping grounds and I must say that I can't blame him. Good luck to the guy.
Milwaukee has exceeded the 1MM mark in ticket sales. Fastest in franchise history.