Blog Entry

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

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



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Comments

Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:50 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

It's a brilliant point.  Some of baseball's best hitters have been Weight Watcher's pitch men.  Babe Ruth, Prince Fielder, Cecil Fielder, Carlos Lee, Jim Thome, Carlos Sandoval, Nelson Cruz, Adam Dunn, David Ortiz, Ryan Howard.  Not seeing where this conversation is going- modern day training is surgical these days.  Weight isn't the issue.  Hand/eye coordination and strength are.



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:49 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Yeah, you paid millions to keep an old man happy because he's the face of the franchise, the OLD face, and he pays you back by going 0 for a hundred against the Tigers in the Playoffs.  Enjoy the Super Bowl, Tim.




Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:49 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

It's a good deal.  He is only 27, and if he stays in any type of shape (besides "round"), he can DH for the last few years of his deal.  It may be a tad on the pricey side, but who cares? 



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:47 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

NINE years at almost $24M per... not to mention he will be 37 when its over AND he was the SECOND BEST PLAYER ON HIS TEAM!!!
dkh,

fielder will be 36 in the final year of his contract and just in case you didn't know -- the guy who was the "best" player on the Brewers last year was the NL MVP.  so ANYONE in the entire NL would be considered the 2nd best player on the Brewers last year if they played for Milwaukee.

fact is -- he has finished in the top 4 in the NL MVP voting 3 times in his career and now he will either be hitting in front of or behind one the best hitters in all of baseball.  going to go out on a limb and say he will get some pitches to hit because of this. 

Cabrera/Fielder in the middle of the Tigers order is CRAZY!!!!  Detroit is going to put up alot of runs and they have a pitching staff in place for the next 4-5 years as well, as Verlander, Fister and Scherzer are all locked up.

Dombrowski has definitely did things the right way with the Tigers.  Cabrera, Fielder, Verlander Fister and Scherzer will all be on the Tigers during their prime years.  Not a bad core to work with.  LOL. 



Since: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:45 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

"Hilarious! 

NINE years at almost $24M per... not to mention he will be 37 when its over AND he was the SECOND BEST PLAYER ON HIS TEAM!!!

This contract is so stupid it should be in the NBA!!!

Can't wait until he weighs more than 300lbs in the next two or three years as well!!!"

no whats REALLY hilarious is the white sox giving all that money to peavy, rios, and dunn......and for what? maybe if kenny williams was as smooth as DD he wouldnt be stuck with those horrible contracts, and might of been able to go after fielder....instead the white sox are hoping their own fat man dayan viciendo talks cespedes into coming to the sox....which will never happen......

sounds like alot of sour grapes coming from fans outside of detroit and milwaukee......at least milwaukees fans have the class to admit fielders a good ball-player. also this is baseball....who cares if a players overweight.....babe ruth wasnt a speedster......boy am i ready for some baseball!!!!!!! 



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:45 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

I'm a Tiger fan and I do not like this deal.  They just got rid of some big contracts on players that were not playing nearly their best.  9 years is a long time at that price.  Fielder is a great hitter but he will have to DH here.  When Martinez does come back where are we going to put all these guys.  We really needed a 3rd baseman, 2nd baseman and an outfielder possibly.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's hope he puts us over the hump and helps deliever a WS ring.



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Yeah, let's hope he doesn't have a year like Carl Crawford did last year.



Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

The problem is.. that guy doesnt have the multiple series championship rings on his finger that Prince will.



Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

First of all....Neither the Yankees nor Boston ever were interested in signing Prince, so your off to a bad start on your critique. I'm all for owners spending their money to get a better baseball team. All the power to them...If more owners were that hungry for a championship the league would be all the better. I dont think its a terribel deal except for the fact that you now have 2 starting first baseman. Best case scenario is they split time at first and DH. 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. Cabrera is not going back to 3rd base, and VMart isnt going to want to be a cather after tearing his ACL...So, now your spending huge $$$$ for two overweight first baseman. I'm a Yankee fan who is more then happy to have Tex, and I'm pretty sure Boston is pretty ahppy with their signing of Gonzalez...Enjoy your moment in the sun Detroit...New York and Boston have a football game to fight over before baseball is relevant again. So, Enjoy the relentless 2 weeks of press coverage on the TWO EVIL Empires of the Northeast.



Since: Apr 29, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

I hope he pays off for a while but he should be a solid asset right now. Hopefully long enough to win a world series title. If his Dad's numbers are any indication, he's just past his best seasons and the slow decline begins now. But he's a better hitter than Cecil and he won't be short on protection in the lineup. The 9 years maybe a bit much, but it was probably going to take something in that ballpark to land him since nobody sees him playing that long. The strength of the feelings may vary, but if you're a Tigers fan how can you not feel good about this?


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