With Jayson Werth signing a seven-year deal for $126 million and the Red Sox' reported seven-year, $154 million extension for Adrian Gonzalez, the Brewers realize they will never be able to re-sign the pending free agent.
Those teams interested in Fielder appear to be the Chicago White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles. Both the White Sox and Orioles are without first basemen, although the Sox probably will end up re-signing Paul Konerko.
The Dodgers have James Loney at first but appear to be underwhelmed by his play. Loney provides good defense and good hitting ability, but not much power.
I was a little surprised the Chicago Cubs were not on that list of potential trade partners since they were very interested in Adrian Gonzalez. But with the Cubs and Brewers both playing in the NL Central, it might make the Cubbies trading for Fielder a touchy prospect. I also believe the Cubs are going to sign Carlos Pena as a short one-year option.
One team for which Fielder would make a lot of sense is the Washington Nationals.
They definitely have money to spend and the prospects to trade, plus GM Mike Rizzo and the Lerner ownership group has a great working relationship with Prince’s agent, Scott Boras. Over the last two seasons, the sides have agreed to big deals with first overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper and also just completed the Werth contract.
For which team will Prince Fielder play in 2011?
The Nationals also now have two, right-handed sluggers in Ryan Zimmerman and Werth back-to-back in that lineup.
Adding the left-handed-hitting Fielder would significantly impact that lineup and break up the two right-handed bats.
While the White Sox and Orioles certainly have the prospects to trade with Milwaukee, what they'd have to give up might hurt them in the long run.
The Sox would certainly have to trade away Gordon Beckham and the Orioles would likely have to give up some of their vaunted young pitchers.
The Dodgers have the players to make a deal, but while they have spent much more recently than everyone has anticipated, those numbers pale in comparison to what Boras would want for an extension.
There are not many teams with the prospects and financial wherewithal to obtain Fielder and get him to sign a Gonzalez-type extension.
The Nationals are a team to watch as the negotiations for Fielder build, especially if the Nationals fail to add another bat.