When a baseball franchise with tight pockets is on the verge of losing a star player to a team with brighter lights and bigger checks, it has two options: Trade the player for a bundle of prospects, or load up to try to win a World Series. More often than not, the Florida Marlins have chosen the former option. But the Milwaukee Brewers faced with the potential departure of slugging first baseman Prince Fielder decided to double-down on its championship chances. They traded top prospects for pitchers Shawn Marcum and Zack Greinke in order to solidify their starting rotation, betting that Fielder, along with outfielder Ryan Braun and second baseman Rickie Weeks, could carry the load offensively. Its a gamble that might pay off, but if it doesnt, the Brewers will find themselves in a familiar situation, only with the roles flipped, ransoming off Fielder to the highest bidder in an attempt to replenish their depleted farm system. Such is the ugly cycle for baseballs small-market teams. The dice roll will continue Monday night at Sun Life Stadium.
Mon., June 6, 7:10 p.m., 2011