Hart, Fielder, or both?

Posted by Steve

With the Brewers out of the race already (okay, they were never in it), rumors are flying about who might be traded. The big name everyone’s been talking about for some time is Prince Fielder. With Scott Boras as his agent, it’s a foregone conclusion that Fielder won’t re-sign before hitting free agency. The expectation is that the Brewers will eventually trade Fielder, but I’m not sure if that will be soon.

Right now, Corey Hart is the subject of more rumors than Fielder. There are a number of reasons for that. Hart is unexpectedly having a great season, which has raised his value immensely. He makes less money than Fielder this season (and next almost for sure). He plays outfield, which is currently in higher demand than first basemen.

Meanwhile, everyone knows Prince Fielder is a rental. Both he and Hart have 1.5 years before reaching free agency, but Fielder and Boras have made it known they’re going to free agency. He’ll cost more than Hart in terms of prospects.

If I had to guess, I’d say Hart will be traded at this deadline and that Fielder will be kept until the off-season.

At first glance, it seems the Brewers would get the most value for Fielder if they traded him now. After all, a team trading for him now would get Fielder for two playoff pushes rather than one (if they waited until the off-season). However, there are likely to be more suitors for Fielder in the off-season. Right now, only contenders who have a spot available at first base and DH are possible suitors for Fielder. In the off-season, any team could go for him. It’s also easier to work three-team trades or larger deals in the off-season when teams have more room in their budget. For these reasons, I’m guessing Melvin won’t be blown away by an offer.

Hart is a different story. His value is at an all-time high, and Melvin would be smart to move him before he goes all Bill Hall on him. While we haven’t heard much about specific teams interested in Fielder, there have been reports in the last two weeks that the Giants, Braves, Rays, and Padres have expressed interest.

As for what the Brewers might get, it’s very difficult to gauge trade value as simply a fan, but I would hope for a B level starting pitching prospect that has one year or less of Major League Service time. Based on what I’ve read, I’ll throw out a guess of Hart and Todd Coffey to the Rays for Wade Davis.

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2 responses to “Hart, Fielder, or both?

  1. Based on the scenario you’ve described Steve, I’d advocate holding out for Jeff Niemann from Tampa or keeping Hart. Players who want to play in Milwaukee are not an expansive list. Hart likes it here. I say keep him and hope 2011 is just as good and two draft picks come the Brewers way if he leaves as a free agent. Wade Davis, for me, is a younger version of the various pitchers already in Milwaukee’s rotation.

  2. I suspect Jeff Niemann isn’t going anywhere with the great season he’s having.

    Davis, despite a fairly unimpressive season so far, was considered a good prospect to start the season. Baseball America was giving him a ceiling of Roy Oswalt before this season. His minor league numbers are good (not great). I’d be comfortable thinking he would become a 2 or most likely a 3 starter. His ceiling, in my opinion, is above every Brewer starter outside of Gallardo. For a season and a half of an expensive Corey Hart, I’d be pleased with that return.

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