Brewers close to a 2-year deal with Prince Fielder?

According to Jon Heyman of SI’s FanNation, the Brewers are closing in on an $18 million deal with first basemen Prince Fielder.

Prince FielderStar first baseman Prince Fielder and the Brewers are closing in on a two-year contract believed to be worth at least $18 million. An announcement could come as early as today, has learned.

Fielder submitted an arbitration figure of $8 million while the team submitted $6 million, but the two sides have been working toward the multi-year agreement since. SI’s Tom Verducci first learned that the sides were in talks for a two-year deal.

Fielder hit 34 home runs, had 102 RBIs and batted .276 as the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since 1982 last year. Fielder, only 24, has hit 84 home runs over the last two years.

This makes sense for both parties. If I have all the rumors straight, Fielder essentially wants to be paid similar to Ryan Howard. But the Brewers don’t want to dole out that kind of long-term money to a defensive liability with weight issues and declining power.

But Milwaukee also doesn’t want to give up on a young slugger who hasn’t even reached his prime yet. So instead of signing him to a one-year arbitration deal worth between $6-8 mil, they make it a two-year deal for essentially $9 mil a year ($1 mil more than he asked for in arbitration) and buy themselves more time without committing to Fielder long-term.

Good plan – we’ll have to see if it goes through.

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