Friday, November 20, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking: The Prince Fielder Contract Extension

Can the Brewers keep Prince Fielder long term? Well, according to this tweet from Jon Heyman, the Brewers are going to give it a go.
#brewers plan to try to lock up prince fielder this winter. dont put it past milwaukee (1 of 9 teams to draw 3 mil fans)
But the question remains: can this extension actually happen? With the Brewers payroll remaining around $80 million and Fielder likely to command $15-$20 million annually, the prospects of a contract extension seem bleak, at best.

But in the name of optimism, let's try to make this extension happen. Let's start off with the goals of each side:

The Brewers

1. Lock up Prince Fielder long term

2. Maintain as much payroll flexibility as possible in the process

3. Hometown discount?

The Prince Fielder Camp

1. Big money contract

2. Become one of the highest paid players in baseball

3. Increased salaries in 2010, and 2011

4. Sign a deal that shows how highly the Brewers value Prince

So how about this deal for Fielder and the Brewers?

(4 years/$72 million) with a fifth year vesting option at $23 million

Here is the contractual breakdown:

2010: $14 million
2011: $18 million
2012: $19 million
2013: $21 million
2014: $23 million (vesting option)

Why it works for the Brewers:

1. Buyout two free agent years

2. Keep Fielder in Milwaukee

3. Prevent him from hitting the open market

4. Brewers only guarantee Fielder on season where he will make $20 million+

Why it works for Fielder

1. Long term security

2. Makes more money in 2010 and probably a little more in 2011

3. Fielder can become a free agent after 2013 (29 years old) or 2014 (30 years old)

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It's very difficult for the Brewers to commit 25% of their total payroll to one player, which is exactly what they would be doing if they sign Fielder to a contract extension that averages out $20 million annually. The advantage of this deal for the Brewers is that they retain their star in the near future at $18 million annually, which is a little bit of a discount considering what Prince would/could make on the open market. This extension would be a risk for the Brewers because of the exorbitant amount of money they would owe Prince, but if they truly feel like this is a player who they cannot afford to lose right now, a contract extension like this would be the way to go.

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(Jorge Says No! on Facebook)

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