According to "multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity", ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson wrote on Monday afternoon that the Milwaukee Brewers are "actively involved in discussions" with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a trade that would send rotund first baseman Prince Fielder to the Dodgers for James Loney and Jonathan Broxton.

The Brewers would be wise to try and move Fielder, since they likely will not be able to afford him long-term. Fielder's body type may not hold up long enough for him to be a safe gamble on an extended contract anyway.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are looking for offense and an upgrade at first base. Loney is coming off a season that could best be described as "meh", with a lack of power despite solid defense.

The 26-year-old fielder has averaged 40 homers over the past four seasons, which is driving Ned Colletti's interest. Further, he gets on base at a high clip, leading the NL in walks last season.

In addition to Loney, the Brewers would be getting a former solid closer in Broxton in the proposed deal.

Broxton saved 22/29 of his chances in 2010, with an ERA slightly over four. In 2009, however, Broxton saved 36 games for Milwaukee, striking out 114 batters in 76 innings and a WHIP of 0.96.

Fielder is arbitration-eligible for the final time, and he will become a free agent after the 2011 season. He is likely to get as much as $15 to $18 million in arbitration, and it may take a Ryan Howard-like deal to get him to avoid free agency.

As for the effect this trade would have on the Dodgers closer situation, there is speculation that LA is close to re-signing Vicente Padilla and may use him as the replacement for Broxton if Broxton is moved.

For a team like the Dodgers, it just might make sense to make this deal even if they do not get a window to discuss a contract extension, since they wouldn't be giving up any prospects in the deal. For the Brewers, it doesn't make sense to me to trade your big gun without getting any blue-chip prospects in return.

Unless you feel you are ready to contend immediately, why trade Fielder for established veteran ballplayers? That is not the path that teams looking to do this sort of thing usually take.

Then again, the Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard contracts may have scared the Brewers into realizing that they cannot afford to keep their star first baseman long-term.

By Bob Warja


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