Though rumors about Prince Fielder being dealt by the Milwaukee
Brewers have been buzzing for weeks, they can largely be put to bed.

So says general manager Doug Melvin, who flatly dismissed
the trade rumors that have been flying this offseason regarding the
slugging first baseman and then was asked whether he would commit to
Fielder for the entire year.

“Yeah,” Melvin responded succinctly Monday in a session with Madison

“I have never talked to clubs about trading Prince,” he said Monday
during a session with reporters at the Concourse Hotel prior to the
Dug-Out Club’s annual winter banquet, adding later that “no team has
called me about Prince.”

Fielder is under contract to Milwaukee for the next three seasons but
seems destined for free agency, in large part because that is the
pattern followed by players who employ agent Scott Boras but also
because he reportedly turned down a $60 million, five-year offer last

In the meantime, his salary will increase dramatically through
arbitration from the $670,000 he made last year. Boras is expected to
ask for as much as $10 million — the record amount awarded Phillies
slugger Ryan Howard a year ago — for 2009 when the sides exchange
offers Tuesday, with the Brewers countering at $7 million or more. The
sides will have roughly five weeks to reach a compromise before an
arbitrator would pick one of those options. The
Capital Times

It still sounds unlikely that Fielder will be in Milwaukee beyond 2009, though.

The same article notes that although the Brewers don’t anticipate
bringing Ben Sheets back, they might.