On the first day of the Winter Meetings, a very interesting rumor is being reported by multiple sources—the Los Angeles Dodgers are discussing a possible trade which would send first baseman James Loney and closer Jonathan Broxton to Milwaukee for first baseman Prince Fielder.
This would be yet another move by a Dodger team that is quickly establishing themselves as a favorite in the NL West.
Last season, Fielder hit .261 with 32 home runs and 83 RBIs. He also posted an OBP of .401, leading the NL in walks with 114 in 2010.
In previous seasons, the Dodgers have been hesitant to move Loney because they don't have another first baseman within the organization to replace him, but that would all change with the addition of Prince Fielder.
Fielder is a free agent at the end of the 2011 season and is in his last year of arbitration eligibility. Feeling they will be unable to sign Fielder to a long-term contract, the Brewers are looking to move him.
The Dodgers are a perfect fit for the big lefty slugger, but a trade does open up some issues for the Dodgers, mainly at the closer's position.
Broxton began the season as the team's closer but was wildly inconsistent and eventually lost the closer's job in August. Despite his struggles, the Dodgers don't have a lot of other options to close out games. Hong-Chih Kuo is a possibility, perhaps the only one, but he has had injury problems in the past and can't be counted on for a full season.
If the Dodgers are able to trade for Fielder, it would be a huge pickup for a team which seriously lacked power last season. Fielder averages 40 homers per season, nearly a dozen more than any other player in the Dodger lineup.