Is he really that bad defensively? I've usually read that he's passable. Not good, but fine.
The risk is not having a top tier 1B for the next five years, and what if we save money to spend in 2012 and then all the top talent resign or gets traded/signed. I'm not saying that LaHair couldn't be the answer, but the risk is high and letting someone like Fielder slip away because you are counting on a 28 year old is a huge risk. ...
What's to lose going with LaHair next season? I mean, we suck now, might suck again next year, so why not save a little money.. plus, why is it that nobody seems to think this guy can produce some?? It's not unreasonable to say he could be a 25-30 HR guy next year given the 1B job.. if he just hits .250, he's already out produced Pena this year.. to me, it's a no lose move to try.. if he sucks, move on in 2013.. but heck, do we really expect to get Fielder or Pujols?? should we want either one of them for the money & years they'll demand? Heck no!
lets be clear: fielder is a top tier DH, not 1st baseman. he "plays" 1st base, but he is only a top tier hitter and bottom tier fielder. he's marginally better than adam dunn with a glove on.
For what it's worth, various reports have LaHair's glove as average, at best. It could look pretty stark to us given a near-decade's worth of Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena.