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CONSIDER THIS A Modest Proposal ...
With yet another defensively challenged slugging prospect on the doorstep in 23-year-old Mat Gamel, it's time for Milwaukee to trade Prince Fielder (left). Gamel batted .329 with 61 extra-base hits at Double A last season, but like Ryan Braun before him, he needs to be moved off of third base. Fielder is a prodigious power hitter (112 homers over the past three seasons) whose overall value is diminished by his lack of speed, contact rate (127 strikeouts per full season) and below-average work around first base. His perceived value will always be higher than his actual value, so the Brewers should dangle Fielder in a bid to upgrade their rotation significantly while plugging in Gamel at first base without losing much production. It's the one move they can make to quickly close the gap between them and the Cubs.
Extra-base hits the Brewers had in 2008, the highest total in the National League. Yet the club finished seventh in the league in runs scored, a fact that can be explained by Milwaukee's pedestrian .325 on-base percentage. With Prince Fielder as their only lefthanded-hitting regular, the Brewers were particularly vulnerable against righties, getting on base at a .317 clip—which ranked 27th in the majors.