Rosenthal’s Idea

Right Field BleachersCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2009

Ken Rosenthal stole my idea. He thinks Adam Dunn is a good fit for the Brewers too:

Here’s another idea:

Trade Prince Fielder for premium young pitching. Sign free agent Adam Dunn to replace Fielder. Secure cost certainty at first base instead of fretting over Fielder’s rising salaries through his arbitration years.

Melvin said Thursday that he is not trying to make such a play, but he showed interest in Dunn when the Brewers considered trading center fielder Mike Cameron, envisioning Dunn in right and Corey Hart in center.

Imagine if Melvin could trade Fielder to the Giants for Matt Cain, or to the Angels for Joe Saunders or Ervin Santana. Neither move is likely—Cain appears close to untouchable, and the Angels keep gushing over Kendry Morales at first base. But the concept is not without merit.

Rosenthal provides some more analysis of the proposed move, but that’s the basics.

Originally, my “plan” with Dunn, would have been for the Brewers to sign him, trade Cameron to the Yankees for pitching and have Dunn play right for now with Hart shifting to center. Once Fielder is traded or leaves in free agency, Dunn would shift to first.

Now, it appears Cameron is staying put (also from Rosenthal’s column):

With Mike Cameron due $10 million next season, the Yankees probably won’t go after the Brewers’ veteran outfielder.

The Brewers’ Melvin joked that he no longer can trade center fielder Mike Cameron, who turned out to be his best recruiter for Hoffman, his former Padres teammate.

Melvin will never say never, but the Yankees’ interest in Cameron seems to be waning.

That’s fine. Cameron is a nice player and there really is no need to replace him. If they can get a valuable piece for him that’s one thing, but if it’s a salary dump, I’d rather hold onto him.

I’ve said all along that I don’t see the Brewers trading Prince this offseason, but if the circumstances are right, it might be a prudent move. Frankly, I think Dunn is better and more consistent than Prince. If you can replace Prince’s production at a similar cost (and a locked in cost since Dunn would be under contract, not due arbitration) while also improving the rotation, why not?

The pitchers that Rosenthal mentioned (Cain, E. Santana and Saunders) are nice, young arms (though, without analyzing stats, Saunders is less appealing to me than the other two) and one of them would certainly improve the rotation. I’d think the Brewers might even be able to get another mid-level prospect in return in a fielder swap for one of those guys.

I’m all for it. It would improve the team this year and push the Brewers one step closer to another postseason appearance. Of course, the Brewers would only be able to pull this off if the team they’re trading Fielder to thinks he’s better than Dunn because they could just sign Dunn if they wanted to. In fact, the team would have to think having Fielder is better than having Dunn and the pitcher they’d be trading. Probably a longshot…

Rosenthal also had this note about Trevor Hoffman in his column:

Hoffman’s 2008 season, Melvin says, was better than it appeared. Hoffman allowed more than one earned run in only three outings, and that his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 46-to-9. Hoffman’s strikeout rate was his best since 2002, his groundball rate his best since ‘05 …

And speaking of people stealing my ideas… Someone else actually used the term “slumbermetrics.” I knew I should have copyrighted the phrase when I used it in the comments in this post.