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Melvin says Brewers will keep options open with Fielder

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin says he's keeping all his options open regarding Prince Fielder. The slugging first baseman becomes a free agent at the end of next season.

There have been conflicting reports of what Melvin plans to do - either trade him now for pitching, or keep him and take an extra draft choice if-and-when he leaves. Melvin had a short meeting with Fielder's agent Scott Boras a few weeks ago at the general managers' meeting in Orlando. But he says there has been no progress on a possible contract extension with the Brewers. Boras has reportedly rejected a five-year offer for $100-million. And Melvin has apparently found it difficult to trade his big-money player, as teams apparently see no chance of re-signing him a year from now.

He'll certainly be expensive next year. He made $10-and-a-half million this year, and he has one year of arbitration left for this spring. He's expected to get around $14-to-15 million from that process.