Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said Saturday that he won’t set any “artificial deadlines” for talks with first baseman Prince Fielder about a contract extension.
“Prince has said he wants to be here, we have said we would love to have him here and we know our fans would love to have him here,” Attanasio said. “There is no timetable, no pressure on either side. I know you guys have seen Prince and he’s pretty relaxed. I think I’m pretty relaxed. …
“No. 1, nobody wants a distraction. Frankly, I think without having any set deadlines or parameters, it better allows that because otherwise you start checking the days on the calendar and all that.”
Attanasio was at Maryvale Baseball Park for the Brewers’ first full-squad workout and delivered his annual address. Then, he huddled in general manager Doug Melvin’s office to discuss a number of topic, chief among them Fielder.
The start first baseman is already signed for 2010 and would be arbitration-eligible — and thus under team control for one more year — in 2011. He is on track to qualify for free agency following the 2011 season.
Both sides say they are interested in exploring whether an extension makes sense. It’s notable, though, that Fielder is represented by agent Scott Boras, who has no track record of clients signing deals that buy out free agent seasons.
Those talks have yet to begin. Fielder said this week that he expects a dialogue to begin very soon, and Attanasio said he would return to camp to personally take part when the time is appropriate.
“As you know, I am very process-oriented, and we are going through all of our internal processes,” Attanasio said. “As you know, Prince is very professionally represented, and I’m sure Mr. Boras is going through all of his internal processes.”