Fielder next on agenda?

prince-fielder-2009-9-6-18-40-29.jpgThe Brewers are expected to re-introduce Doug Davis at Miller Park on Friday, a signing that could cap GM Doug Melvin’s major offseason maneuverings. Now that the rotation has a dose of healthy competition, and the bullpen and the lineup are set for 2010, it could be time to return to the topic Melvin mentioned way back in October — an extension for first baseman Prince Fielder.

Easier said than done, considering that Scott Boras is Fielder’s agent and that the player himself is two years removed from free agent riches. Assuming the Brewers will give it a try, I laid out some of the issues both sides will be considering in a story that went live on Thursday night.

Melvin, for his part, plans to keep things under wraps if talks indeed progress.

“It’s a big one,” he said this week, “and if we have any kind of conversations it wouldn’t be for publication. You don’t want to be asked about it every 24 hours. I’m not going to get into that sort of thing.

“But at some point, we said we want to get together. It has to be the right time. Is it the right time now? I don’t know the answer to that.”

A discussion of Fielder’s future requires this disclaimer up front: He’s already under contract for 2010, then is under club control for one more year of arbitration eligibility in 2011. That means the Brewers own Fielder’s rights for two more seasons, and, as Melvin has pointed out in the past, means that there is no sense of urgency to strike a deal or else.

On the other hand, it’s understandable that Melvin would seek a sense of whether Fielder (and Boras) are open to the idea of an extension or whether they intend to test the free agent waters two years from now.

Do you think the Brewers and Fielder will be able to strike a deal?


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