LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are actively involved in discussions on a possible three-player deal with the Milwaukee Brewers that would bring slugging first baseman Prince Fielder to Los Angeles in exchange for Dodgers first baseman James Loney and embattled closer Jonathan Broxton, according to multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Fielder, 26, has averaged 40 home runs over the past four seasons -- a dozen more than any player hit for the Dodgers in 2010 -- and 111 RBIs. He led the National League with 141 RBIs in 2009. He also has a career on-base percentage of .385 and led the NL with 114 walks in 2010.
The Dodgers previously have been reluctant to move Loney, primarily because there is no other everyday first baseman in the organization who is close to being ready for the majors. Loney also is a potential Gold Glove winner defensively, but the knock against Loney has always been that he doesn't hit for the power the front office and coaching staff have long believed him to be capable of producing.
The Chicago Cubs have also expressed interest in Loney, according to ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.
Broxton is coming off a miserable season in which he actually lost the closer's job in early August after an extended bout with ineffectiveness. Both general manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly have said publicly this winter that they plan to enter 2011 with Broxton as the closer, albeit presumably with a short leash.
Trading Broxton would leave Hong-Chih Kuo as the only other candidate to take over the closer's role, but because of his history of arm problems, he has to be used sparingly and probably isn't a viable option as a season-long closer. However, the Dodgers also appear close to re-signing Vicente Padilla despite the fact they already have five established starters. Padilla could become a candidate to take over the closer's role if Broxton is traded, according to multiple sources.
Fielder is in his final winter of arbitration-eligibility before potentially becoming a free agent after the 2011 season. He made $10.5 million in 2010, the final season of a two-year, $18-million deal he signed with the Brewers in January 2009. He probably stands to get between $15 million and $20 million this season
Wow can they pull this off?
Edited by MDI, December 06, 2010 - 02:30 PM.