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"You have to have breaks that you create because you're playing good, which they did," Roenicke said. "They outplayed us."
Fielder finished 1 for 14 in the final four games of the series. In his two years of reaching the playoffs, he's hit .192 with four homers and eight RBIs in 15 postseason games.
Moving forward, Milwaukee's financial constraints will play a role in shaping next year's team even after drawing 3 million fans for the third time in the last four seasons.
While Fielder's hefty salary comes off the payroll, the Brewers have been aggressive about locking up their other young stars.
Four-time All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun is signed through 2020. All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks and starter Yovani Gallardo are locked up for at least three more years. Right fielder Corey Hart has two years left on his deal.
All the security comes at a staggering price. Those four will combine to make $13.25 million more next season, eating through most of the savings from Fielder's salary.
The good news is that the Brewers won't have many major holes to fill beyond Fielder's spot.
All five starting pitchers return and Melvin has a chance to bring back the rest of the starting lineup if he exercises the team option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's contract.
The Brewers will need to rebuild its bullpen and bench. Relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez and bench players Craig Counsell, Mark Kotsay and Jerry Hairston Jr. can all become free agents.
The Brewers could try filling Fielder's spot from within in the organization. Casey McGehee could shift to first base to let promising prospect Taylor Green take over third. Hart also began in the minors as a first baseman.
While the Brewers will be covered no matter what Fielder decides, they understand he's not replaceable.
"I think everybody understands the circumstances," Braun said. "Regardless of what happens, everything he's accomplished here in six-plus years, is incredible. He's one of the greatest players in franchise history, one of the best teammates in the league, an incredible competitor. I'm proud to say I was able to be teammates with him."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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