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Long-term contracts for our young guys: Who should we try to lock up? Latest: Prince declines 60 million offer (reply #23)


adambr2

With the great contract that Braun was recently inked to, it seems to me that this approach could go a long ways in ensuring our long-term success. However, we can't, or shouldn't, keep them all for years to come if we want to keep other options open, so who should we put putting our strongest efforts into retaining long-term? Here's my take.

 

Prince Fielder:

He was considered the centerpiece of our team before this season, and in some respects, still is. We did make an effort in the offseason to look at a long-term contract for him. However, he has made no secret of the fact that he intends to get every penny that he can obtain in negotiations. Boras will ensure this happens, and Prince is going to be very expensive very soon. Combine that with the fact that he is probably always going to be a defensive liability, and LaPorta and Gamel could each potentially be a very suitable successor, and I'd pass on a deal for Prince.

 

Rickie Weeks:

With his struggles so far, he's a risk. However, with that, his current perceived value is also lower, and therefore it might be a good time to instill some confidence in Rickie by looking to sign him to a 6 year or so extension. I still believe in Weeks -- I think what he showed in the last two months of 2007 is an indicator of the kind of player he can be. I'd look to sign him.

 

Corey Hart:

With Corey now relatively proven as a .300 type hitter with speed, power, and defensive ability, I don't see any reason not to try to sign Hart to long-term deal as well. I still see Hart as our CF of the future when Cameron leaves, and I think LF and CF are in good hands for years to come if Hart is re-signed. I'd go for it now, before he hits arbitration.

 

J.J. Hardy:

Tough decision, as Hardy is certainly more than affordable at this time. The problem is, do we feel that he is the guy we want starting at shortstop for years to come? It's a borderline call, but with Escobar as one option of potential replacements in the future, I think this is a position we could upgrade sometime in the future, even if it's not with Escobar. I like Hardy, but I'd pass on being the shortstop of the future, and thus pass on any long-term talks with him.

 

Yovani Gallardo:

Interesting one, as Gallardo has certainly proven to most that he's going to be an ace-type pitcher in the near future, and may be our ace in the near future. With his current injury, however, and the fact that he is still under control for another 5 seasons, including arbitration, I don't see a purpose of offering him a long-term deal, yet. I'd pass for now, but possibly look at something for him in a year or two.

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Weeks and Hart should be locked up right now and Gallardo can be locked up next year once he shows he is healthy.

That's what I'm thinking. It's the perfect time to look at an extension for Weeks and Hart. I still think Gallardo will be here a long time, but I'd wait until at least sometime during 2009 to extend him.

 

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Are you sure about Hart? I think last year was his first full year.

Yeah, at least according to this website's salary page, he's arby eligible next year.

 

As I remember, he was on the roster all year in 2006, he just didn't start much until the 2nd half of the season.

 

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I would love to see Hart locked up to a long-term deal. I'd try for somewhere in the neighborhood for 5-year 30 million with incentives and a team option...or is that not realistic for someone like Corey? I just have a feeling he's going to be a consistent 25-30 homer 100 RBI guy. I don't think he'll be a star but very consistent and could be an all-star. Otherwise, I agree with trying to lock up Weeks while he could be locked up at a lowered rate, of course that could be the reason he'd be harder to sign. I also might be in the minority, but I'd try and lock Hardy up, especially if Weeks can't be signed. I'd also wait on Gallardo until he's healthy.

 

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that Prince will get traded at some point.

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Cots says that Fielder, Weeks and Hart wil enter arby next year. Once they hit arbitration, their desire to sign an extension decreases, so I'm not sure that a deal is likely. I'm pretty sure that Melvin said that they had looked at extending Gallardo, but obviously want him to come back before they negotiate that.
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Rickie Weeks:

With his struggles so far, he's a risk. However, with that, his current perceived value is also lower, and therefore it might be a good time to instill some confidence in Rickie by looking to sign him to a 6 year or so extension. I still believe in Weeks -- I think what he showed in the last two months of 2007 is an indicator of the kind of player he can be. I'd look to sign him.

 

Corey Hart:

With Corey now relatively proven as a .300 type hitter with speed, power, and defensive ability, I don't see any reason not to try to sign Hart to long-term deal as well. I still see Hart as our CF of the future when Cameron leaves, and I think LF and CF are in good hands for years to come if Hart is re-signed. I'd go for it now, before he hits arbitration.

 

Yovani Gallardo:

Interesting one, as Gallardo has certainly proven to most that he's going to be an ace-type pitcher in the near future, and may be our ace in the near future. With his current injury, however, and the fact that he is still under control for another 5 seasons, including arbitration, I don't see a purpose of offering him a long-term deal, yet. I'd pass for now, but possibly look at something for him in a year or two.

These three are the only ones deserving of a contract extension. I don't see why everyone likes J.J. so much. I would rather sign Weeks over Hardy since we have a SS in the minors that can do everything that Hardy is doing now. Plus signing Weeks now will cost us less right now since Weeks will probably hit better than he has been.

 

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adambr2 wrote:

Yeah, at least according to this website's salary page, he's arby eligible next year.

As I remember, he was on the roster all year in 2006, he just didn't start much until the 2nd half of the season.

He was sent down for at least part of the 2006 season to get some playing time. I am not sure if he was on the big league roster long enough in other years to make up for that time spent in the minors.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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I don't see why everyone likes J.J. so much.

 

He seems like a nice guy.

 

Selective memory. They only choose to remember what he did at the beginning of last year.

 

And the chicks dig him because...

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As much as I like Hardy, I think we can find plenty of guys that in our farm system or on the market that can hit .250 and play defense just as good and not pay them as much money as Hardy will be in line to get.

As for Weeks, it is a tough call, because I reallly don't know if we've seen what he can do yet. His hands are so quick and we've seen the improvement he's made with defense, hopefully he can do that with his hitting on a more consistent basis.

Gallardo I think is a guy that the Brewers will try to lock up in the middle of next year after they see how he does after the injury. I don't think Yo will miss a beat since it's a ACL, not an arm issue.

I have no idea what the Brewers could do with Fielder. I think they'll trade him before it even gets to a chance for a new contract. There's no point to be held hostage by Boras with the guys we have coming up.

As for Corey Hart, I told my buddies last year that he's a keeper. For some reason, Hart seems to fly under the radar with the media for his skills and that's fine with me. I think he's one of the most underrated players in the league and the Brewers should try and lock him up for a long while.

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Gallardo I think is a guy that the Brewers will try to lock up in the middle of next year after they see how he does after the injury.

You don't look up young pitchers before you need to. Just too much injury risk. I would take Gallardo year by year until he gets to his last year of arbitration and then look to lock him up.

 

Locking up Weeks long-term could be a crippling move to this franchise. At some point, you have to let his potential go. He has been in MLB long enough, that it is becoming likely he never becomes an all-star type player. In addition, with all of our OF full already - you would be 100% committed to Weeks playing 2B for years to come. That is a scary thought to me.

Hart would be my top priority. He is a very good all around player. He made some comments about wanting "security" in the off-season, so I imagine he is open to it. He is also the most consistent Brewer.

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Hart. Let him go and we may as well bring back Wendy, Laurel and Sal.

Depending on the deal that can be negotiated, Weeks.

Gallardo, but not until the medical is sorted out.

 

Everyone else on the current big league roster should be internally considered to be available on the trade market immediately, with a list of targeted-acquisition players prepared (and subject to change depending on the results of the draft). If someone wants to overpay for Weeks, he can go, too.

 

Nobody wants to waive the white flag early, and I'm not suggesting that it is yet time for the Brewers to do so. But they should be fully prepared to do so so as to get into action at the most opportune time.

 

Edit: By everyone, I mean everyone not named 'Ryan Braun'

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I'd say the priority list goes like this:

1) Hart 6-8 years

2) Sheets 2-3 years

3) Gallardo 3-5 years, although at this point it makes sense to go year-to-year with him

4) Weeks 4 years

5) Fielder 5-6 years

6) Hardy. He's a guy that makes sense to go year-to-year, since he's really had one great half season and one good half-season in his career

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I'd say the priority list goes like this:

1) Hart 6-8 years

2) Sheets 2-3 years

3) Gallardo 3-5 years, although at this point it makes sense to go year-to-year with him

4) Weeks 4 years

5) Fielder 5-6 years

6) Hardy. He's a guy that makes sense to go year-to-year, since he's really had one great half season and one good half-season in his career

I totally agree with this. I might move Hardy ahead of Fielder for the right price. In fact, I think we should trade Fielder very soon. I just don't see him getting better so we should move while his trade value is still super high. Maybe we could get a good starting pitcher. The loss of his lefthandedness would be the biggest problem.

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Let's not even waste our time with Prince. I'd trade him after the season to the Angels or Rays featuring deals with the centerpiece of Nick Adenhart or David Price respectively. We need the pitching more than Prince's hitting with LaPorta coming up.

 

Prince is a DH as he as proven with his 1B defense this year.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tom H reports in his blog that Prince declined a multi year deal for 60 million that the Brewers offered to him.

 

http://blogs.jsonline.com/brewers/archive/2008/06/18/fielder-story-is-a-sticky-situation.aspx

 

Hopefully there aren't a lot of gripes about 'not getting what he's due' in the future, as it was probably a 5 or 6 year deal that would have paid him 10-12 million per to buy out a year or two of free agency, which seems more than fair.

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I also was kind of caught off guard by the comment by Tom since we had never heard this before. That seems like it would have been a more than fair offer, but we don't know the years that were offered. If Prince turned that down and it was a 5 year deal, good riddance, that is a lot of guaranteed money to turn down. I don't know if I would be comfortable offering him more than that. The way he is playing this year he is probably losing money
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