Blog Entry

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:02 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 7:04 pm

By Matt Snyder

Chalk up one more for the so-called mystery team. First it was Cliff Lee going to the Phillies, then Albert Pujols heading to the Angels. Now Prince Fielder has shocked the baseball world by signing with the Detroit Tigers, a team that hadn't even been remotely connected to him in rumors the entire offseason. The robust first baseman has signed a nine-year contract worth $214 million, insider Jon Heyman has learned.

The Tigers were recently dealt what appeared to be a pretty severe blow, as Victor Martinez tore his ACL and could miss the entire 2012 season. So there went Miguel Cabrera's lineup protection, right? Think again. Owner Mike Ilitch really wants to win a World Series championship and this signing indicates one of the strongest reactions one can even imagine to news like that.

Prince to Tigers
Heyman also notes that the finalists to land Fielder were the Nationals, Tigers and one other "mystery team." So it's entirely possible the Nationals would have come away with Fielder had Martinez not torn his ACL. It's funny how things work sometimes.

A Fielder-Cabrera combo in the middle of that order will dominate AL Central pitching. Throw Justin Verlander into the mix, and the Tigers have three of baseball's biggest stars.

Fielder, 27, hit .299/.415/.566 with 38 homers, 120 RBI, 95 runs and 36 doubles last season for the NL Central champion Brewers. He finished third in MVP voting and also took home the All-Star Game MVP. Though Fielder is a large man, he is as durable as they come. He hasn't played in less than 157 games in a season since becoming a regular. He played in all 162 last season, following up seasons where he appeared in 161 and 162 games, respectively.

The smart money with Fielder and Cabrera is a split at first base, with the other serving as the designated hitter. Then again, what if the Tigers got nuts and tried to shove Cabrera back across the diamond to play third base again -- where he began his career? That would mean the infield defense would be awful, but would also leave room for a better hitting DH than Brandon Inge (who, at this point, looks like the third baseman). And if Victor Martinez comes back healthy? It works even better.

The Tigers won the AL Central by 15 games last season. Even if Martinez misses all of the 2012 season, Fielder is a pretty sizeable upgrade to the offense. So it would appear the division is the Tigers' to lose.

For now, though, the only details that really matter are that Prince Fielder is heading to Detroit -- where his father once held down the middle of the order -- and he's going to make a whole lot of money.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Front Row Amy is a good lookin girl who sit in the front row behind home plate at all the Brewer games.  She's as fun to watch as the game.  And, it is tough being a Pirate fan in season and out of season as teams sign big time players and we make a splash with an injury risk in pitcher Bedard and a .230 hitting catcher, but I'm not going anywhere.  Go Bucs.

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Behind Verlander Fister will get the outs. He was the best pitcher in Baseball in September and October for the Tigers. Take a look at his numbers. Scherzer and Porcello are great for a 3 and 4 spot in the starting rotation.

The Lineup is scary. Platooning 2B and 3B is not so bad. The only question is, will Cabrera move up to the 3 slot with Fielder batting cleanup. Remember Braun was MVP with Fielder batting behind him.

I would like to watch a Pitcher pitch through this starting lineup:

A Jackson
B. Boesch
Delmon Young
Miggy Cabrera
Prince Fielder
Alex Avila
Jhonny Peralta

Wow is the AL Central in for an beating....

Let's Go Tigers!

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:56 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

The Tigers starting rotation is one of the more solid ones in the American League. Just need to plug in a 5th starter and who isn't looking for one of those?

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:54 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

but what about the pitching staff? Behind Verlander, who's going to get the outs?

Answer to your question - Fister, Doug, you already mentioned the 3-4 starter, not too bad on paper...

Since: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:54 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

why is it hard to understand that miggy will play alot of 3B? if they would of made the WS last year miggy was probably going to start at 3B every game in the NL park.......with this lineup, i dont think defense was a top priority.....our defense is never good...but we are going to mash the ball....also its baseball, if he declines over the years...some team will trade for him at the trade deadline......but i think he will be good til around 33-34....which would make me very happy......any tiger fan who doesnt like this, doesnt understand baseball.....THIS SIGNING COULD MEAN NO MORE INGE!

besides it not our money...its mr illitch's......we go to the game and spend good glad to see a prince fielder bought with our money then a johhny damon or vlad gurrero.......guess illitch is getting bored with the red wings and sent some of that money over to his other team......wonder if he sealed the deal with a little ceasers pizza..... 

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:53 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Boston's epic collapse is solely on the pitching staff tanking it the last month.  The Red Sox had nearly four .300 hitters without the Crawford problems.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:52 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Its a great move by detroit.  I was just sitting here the other day wondering who would ever pitch to miggy without vmart behind him.  So we will worry about the glut at 1st and dh next year.  Players can always be traded.  At least we WILL contend THIS year.  All I care abuout.  Great job Dombrowski.

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

This deal is great for the Tigers on paper. But how will they perform on the field? Remember that the Red Sox were supposed to win the World Series last year after signing Gonzalez and Crawford to monster contracts and they had an epic collapse.

Their offense is, I think, one of the best in the league, but what about the pitching staff? Behind Verlander, who's going to get the outs? You still have Porcello and Scherzer, who can be hot or cold on any given outing. There are going to be some high scoring affairs in the Motor City this year.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Thats all fine and dandy until VMArt comes back after his ACL heals up next year...and your stuck with 3 players that play first or can DH
The obvious answer is that Victor Martinez is not coming back.  Assuming the ACL heals he will either be traded or released (or end up a pinch hitter off Detroits bench I guess).  Simple fact is, its not a "problem" because, barring injury, both Fielder and Cabrera are far superior offensively (which is all that matters at DH of course).

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

He is a killer with the bat and in the AL they can DH him enough to keep him fresh.  Good for the Tigers.  AS a Cubs fan I am ecstactic that we don;t have to worry about Pujols or Fielder anymore.  I only wish our team wasn't so terrible. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or