Trade Deadline: Prince Fielder open to being a DH
|07.12.11 at 2:00 pm ET|
PHOENIX — Prince Fielder is one of the best hitters in baseball. The 27-year-old is putting up his customary monster numbers in Milwaukee, hitting .297 with a .415 OBP, .575 slugging mark, .990 OPS and 22 homers at the All-Star break.
His perennial monster numbers, along with questions about his glove (despite surprising athleticism for his size), have led many to believe that the free-agent-to-be will become a DH at some point over the life of whatever landmark contract he signs following this year.
While the Brewers slugger is aware that there could be a market for him as a DH, he notes that the undertaking is not an effortless one.
“I did it a little in interleague. It’s not easy to do that,” said Fielder. “It’s different because you can’t have the sweat from playing defense. You have to have a routine to get loose. It’s not like you play defense, come in and you’re still warm. It takes effort to keep your body ready. It’s even harder mentally.”
That said, Fielder would not rule out suitors this coming offseason based on positional questions. Though he has spent his entire career as a DH in the National League, the first baseman suggested that he will listen to offers from clubs that see him as a designated hitter. Other factors (presumably, money, years and the opportunity to win) will play a larger factor in his decision.
“I’m not really ruling anything out,” said Fielder. “It’s tougher [being a DH], but I didn’t mind it. It was just something, it’s not, it’s something you have to learn. It’s not just something you can do and expect to be good without having to make any adjustment.”
As Fielder’s career in Milwaukee likely winds down, the questions about his future have come steadily. Yet clearly, such queries have done little to impact his performance. Fielder suggests that he has made his peace with his impending free agency and the curiosity from reporters and fans about it.
“It’s not that bad. There have been some questions even before. Now that the time is almost here, it’s not bad at all,” said Fielder. “That’s what’s weird. The closest I’ve gotten to free agency, the less I’ve worried about it. It’s pretty cool.”
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