Saturday, January 31, 2009

Signing of Prince Fielder: Yay! or Nay?

There was rumor that Prince Fielder would be traded in order to get a solid starting pitcher. That rumor ended when Fielder and the Brewers avoided arbitration and signed him to an $18 million, two-year contract on Jan. 23. Was this a good deal for the Brewers?

One thing's for certain: the Brewers desperately need either a starting ace or a number two pitcher. If the whole rotation stays healthy, the Brewers led by Yovani Gallardo could have a solid season and be alright without another starting pitcher. Everyone for the most part stayed healthy last season with the exception of Gallardo who missed most of the season with injury. The Brewers would have been very dangerous if Gallardo would have been in the starting rotation all year. Although, who knows if the Brewers would have pulled off CC Sabathia if Gallardo wouldn't have been out all season. But the thought of having a rotation consisting of Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Gallardo, Manny Parra, and either Dave Bush or Jeff Suppan would have been mesmorizing and arguably would have been the best rotation in the MLB. But Milwaukee needs a healthy rotation in 2009 if they want to be contendors.

Which brings me to this point: When Milwaukee signed Fielder was it a good deal? Or should they have traded him to another team for a solid pitcher? I have a hard time going against anything that GM Doug Melvin does and the Fresh Prince of Milwaukee is one of the best first baseman in the game. Sure, the Brewers could have traded Fielder and started phenom Mat Gamel at first but now Milwaukee can afford to play the waiting game with Gamel and get him some MLB experience before he comes in and is an everyday starter. Melvin has mentioned that he is probably done with signing anyone but is keeping some money to potentially trade at the deadline. The Brewers may have lost Sheets and Sabathia but they still have one of the best rotations in the Central Division. Only Chicago and the Cardinals have a better rotation and if Milwaukee is in good standing by the deadline, they can trigger a deal to get them back to at least in the running for another Wild Card.

Brewers followers will be happy to see Fielder for at least the next two years and continue to give them one of the best 3-4 punches in the league between Ryan Braun and Fielder. Trading Fielder would have also given Milwaukee a much weaker bench.

Note: Milwaukee should have worked meat eating into Fielder's contract. The vegetarian diet messed with his success. Moral of the story: Don't mess with meat especially in a city of carnivores who have a seventh inning stretch consisting of hot dogs racing each other.

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