Now that the season has ended for the Milwaukee Brewers and Prince Fielder has likely swung a bat for the final time as the team's first baseman, it's time to look to the 2012 and see how the Brewers can get better.
For much of the 2011 season, the team was paced by a very good starting rotation and great bullpen. All five starters and closer John Axford are under contract for next season, so they will be the team's foundation. Besides replacing Fielder's bat, GM Doug Melvin will have to look for late-inning arms to bridge the gap from the starters to Axford and improve the team's defense, something that became a glaring issue the final two games of the NLCS.
Melvin will have some money to spend this winter, but he has stripped the organization of all of its top prospects, making it nearly impossible to acquire talent the same way he did last offseason.
It is highly unlikely the Brewers will be able to duplicate their 2011 success. While most, if not all, of these players should be safe this winter, many of them may find themselves on the trading block next summer if the Brewers plummet back to Earth the way most feel they will. The Brewers may quickly turn from a division winner into a team building for the future.
With that being said, let's look at some of the players that may shortly find their way out of Milwaukee.