The Brewers and Fielder avoided the song-and-dance of arbitration by agreeing to a one-year $15.5 million contract for the upcoming season. What this means — other than the fact that Prince is now filthy rich — is that Fielder’s future earnings will be astronomical. Fielder made $18 million combined his first two arbitration years and now is pulling in $15.5 mil. That’s not a bad figure considering he’s coming off a down season where he batted .261 with 32 home runs, 83 RBIs, and an .871. This is far removed from his most productive seasons in 2007 and 2009, where he posted a 1.013 and 1.014 OPS respectively, clubbing 50 and 46 home runs.
The rising salaries for Prince despite the down year means the Brewers will have no chance at re-signing him. Even with another average season like 2010, the Brewers will NEVER be able to afford Prince. Given the high salary Fielder will command on the open market, it’s likely that the team will try to trade him, but that’s no certainty.
By acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in the off-season, Milwaukee has made a commitment to winning now. As long as they’re winning and Prince is playing well, expect them to hang onto the slugger and to settle for the compensatory pick they’ll receive for losing a Type-A free agent in the off-season. And if the season doesn’t go as planned, expect Prince to be a goner shortly after the All-Star break.Google+