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Added September 15th, 2011 by Chalk

Prince Fielder: “Probably” Last Year With Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder told TBS he’ll “probably” be playing somewhere else next year, and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez says he’s unhappy and feels the team lied to him when they acquired him at midseason. The Brewers still have a 5.5-game lead in the NL Central with 12 to play, but led by 10.5 just 10 days ago, so the timing of the comments is certainly questionable.

“I’m signed for this year, but being real about it, it is probably the last year,” said Fielder. “Hopefully, we can go out with a blast.”

“They told me they were going to do something and never did it,” said Rodriguez, who claims the Brewers promised he’d share the closer role with John Axford, who has been 19 of 19 in save opportunities since K-Rod was acquired. “That’s why I can be a little disappointed by the situation … I’ve only pitched once in the ninth inning, and it was not even a save opportunity. I’m not happy. It’s simple. That’s the bottom line.”

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin tried to downplay both comments, claiming the team won’t be affected by the talk.  But he can’t really say anything else or bench either guy. “I was in the clubhouse last night, and it didn’t seem to be an issue amongst the team, amongst us, with [manager] Ron [Roenicke] and the coaching staff,” Melvin said. “It sounds like some clichés, but also, it shouldn’t affect our ball club.  They’re both free agents.  It’s a natural tendency for free agents, if they get asked, players today some time want to say what their feelings are at a certain point.  Any free agent player at this time probably does think there’s a chance of them maybe not coming back.

Prince is hitting .294 with 32 home runs, 109 RBI and a .407 on-base percentage this season. Last spring, he turned down a preliminary offer of five years, $100 million.

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