The Milwaukee Brewers have reached a preliminary agreement with first-basemen Prince Fielder on an $18 million, two-year contract, pending a passed physical.
"There's things you have to do to get to that point to finalize deals," Melvin said. "We won't have anything tonight, but there's a good possibility we could have something tomorrow."
Milwaukee renewed Fielder's contract last year for $670,000, and Fielder was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He asked for $8 million and the Brewers offered $6 million when figures were exchanged Tuesday.
He can become a free agent after the 2011 season.
"We'd know his salary for the next two years and still have him the following year when he goes back into the arbitration pool," Melvin said. "He's still our player, but there's an undefined salary for the third year."
In 2007, Fielder became the youngest player to hit 50 home runs, and he batted .288 with 119 RBIs. The 24-year-old hit .276 with 34 homers and 102 RBIs last year as Milwaukee reached the postseason for the first time since 1982.
Thank You, Doug Melvin!
This is one of your greatest moves, yet. Locking Fielder up in a multi-year contract is absolutely critical to the future success of the team. It's a huge load off of Brewer fans' shoulders as one of the cornerstones of the franchise is staying in Milwaukee.
Rumors were flying around that Fielder would have been traded sometime during the season for pitching depth, just as soon as Mat Gamel, now arguably the Brewers' best prospect, was ready for extended playing time in the majors. Now, we can use Gamel as a possible platoon option if current third baseman Bill Hall begins to struggle at any point.
The Brewers look much better now, knowing that their young stud will be sticking around for a while, yet. We still could use some work on the rotation and bullpen, so we'll see what happens in the next week or so. Hopefully the next move will be another re-signing, keeping ace Ben Sheets with the team.