The Brewers are wise not to commit to Prince Fielder beyond two years.
Sounds strange I’m sure, considering the guy’s shaping up as one of the most productive, and feared, power hitters in the game.
Problem is, he’s also shaping up much like his father, and not in the home run kind of way.
Prince’s robust gut presents a serious issue for the Brewers if they’re thinking about handing over the keys to the franchise to a guy who could eat himself out of the league before reaching the end of a big money, long-term deal.
His listed playing weight of 260lbs (he’s certainly heavier) is in no way favorable for a long-term playing career.
Just look at dear old dad, Cecil, who entered the league at a listed weight of 240 pounds (ie 290lbs) before his bulk rapidly declined his career.
Granted, Cecil averaged 38 HRs per season from his 26th birthday to his 30th, but just as quickly he became limited by injuries to averaging a meek 124 games per season from his 30th birthday to his retirement at age 34.
Thus, if Prince is anything like his father, and there’s no denying the physical similarities, the Prince’s career should be peaking around the time his new contract expires two years from now.
This is precisely when Milwaukee should cut ties with Fielder, letting him sign big, free-agent-money elsewhere, most likely with an AL team where the big-fella can DH.
It’s very likely the Brewers will miss out on a year or two of Fielder’s best baseball, but they at least they won’t be saddled in the long term with a huge contract for a huge player whose best years are behind him.