NEW YORK -- Prince Fielder is already set to hit the free-agent jackpot this winter.
Imagine if he hits the market as the National League's Most Valuable Player.
Fielder has huge numbers, and teammate Ryan Braun set the MVP campaign going Tuesday, saying, "At this point, Prince has probably been the MVP in the National League. The only other guy in the conversation is probably Matt Kemp."
Mets fans would likely argue on behalf of Jose Reyes (but who knows if he'll even be in the National League by the end of the year). And with half a season to go, any number of other players could merit consideration.
But Fielder entered play Tuesday with a 1.037 OPS (second to Kemp), 21 home runs (one behind Kemp) and 68 RBI (leading the league). He had 41 extra-base hits and 44 strikeouts.
"He's been incredible," Braun said.
Brewers people say that Fielder has been able to avoid talking about free agency, in large part because the Brewers are in first place, but also because there's no real hint of an attempt by the team to sign him.
It's basically a given that Fielder will play elsewhere next year, but it's also a certainty that Fielder has given his all for the Brewers this year.
"He's had a great attitude and a great outlook," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He hasn't lost any focus. I talked to [agent] Scott Boras this spring, and we agreed that the best thing for the team and for Prince was to just worry about [the contract] later."
Boras will have plenty of time to make his case. And by then, perhaps the binder will include an MVP award, as well.