It’s not a big deal yet

Posted by Steve

Some people started panicking yesterday after Prince Fielder’s comments about the renewal of his contract. In case you haven’t seen the comments, here they are (from the Journal-Sentinel):

“I’m not happy about it at all,” Fielder said after the Brewers’ workout this morning. “The fact that they’ve renewed me two years in a row now.

“There are a lot of guys with the same amount of time I have who have done a lot less than me and are getting paid a lot more. But my time is going to come and it’s coming quick, too.”

Fielder’s contract was renewed for $670,000 after making $415,000 last year. Fielder is upset that he was not given more money despite the fact the Brewers had no obligation to do so.

This morning on the radio I listened to two hosts lambaste the Brewers for “low-balling” Prince Fielder. Several people called to agree, and I finally turned it off when they ridiculed a caller for suggesting otherwise.

The Brewers did not low-ball Prince. As Melvin said in that same article, no player with similar playing time to Fielder has signed a contract for more money this spring.

Prince says a lot of people with the same amount of time as him are getting paid “a lot more.” This simply isn’t true. What makes this even more amusing is the only ones who are getting more (i.e. Troy Tulowitzki) are the ones who sacrificed free agent years to sign a long-term deal.

If Fielder wanted to make 5 or 6 mil this year, he definitely could, but he’s the one who doesn’t want to sign a long-term deal right now. The Brewers would be willing to sign him to something like a five-year $50 million deal, but Prince (or at least Lord Boras) is the one holding out to get his big pay day as soon as possible.

Naturally, people were calling in saying that the Brewers have no desire to pay Fielder and they’re still the same old cheap Brewers. First of all, for those who feel that way, do you really think an extra 300 grand or so would convince Fielder to leave millions on the table in the future to stay here? Whether he stays or not, I all but guarantee that an extra $300,000 given four years earlier will have no bearing on his decision.

People are also calling this an indication that Prince will be out of Milwaukee the second he hits free agency. That is also jumping the gun. Certainly it’s not an encouraging sign, but people need to realize that Fielder won’t reach that point for four years yet. Think about that for a second. The Brewers will have Prince Fielder under their control through the 2011 season.

First of all, that is awesome. Second of all, a lot can happen in that time. Maybe Prince will see guys like Weeks, Hart and Braun sign extensions and he’ll decide that he wants long-term security as well. Maybe he’ll change agents. Maybe Scott Boras will decide he’d rather pursue his lifelong dream of a career in architecture and quit the business.

And, hey, if not then that will suck. It won’t be the end of the world, but it will suck. But at least we can look forward to having Prince Fielder on our team for the best years of his career.

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2 responses to “It’s not a big deal yet

  1. Everyone I know (okay like 5 people I’ve talked to here) is like “ZMOOMG Prince hatez Milwaukee!!!” It’s really annoying.

  2. I think this actually bodes very well for The Crew’s success this year. Prince seems to take any slight (real or perceived) and use it as motivation to unleash his wrath on the baseball. Case in point: Fielder, Cecil.

    As far as the renewal goes, if the Brewers were to change the rules for Prince, I think it would set a very bad precedent. What would happen next year with Braun? The system is what it is, and has worked fine in the past. Prince will get paid handsomely…starting next season.

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