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.

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Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:31 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Wow, so it really doesn't matter where the guy lands, every armchair sports analyst on here was just chomping at the bit to crap all over him.  I imagine you'd all feel the same way if he went to your favorite team? 

As for buying a championship?  God forbid somebody that isn't Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Philadelphia go after a major star.  I love it, I LOVE IT!  Finally, a team I like lands a major star and all of a sudden, everybody's a damn Futurist, "Good luck in the last few years of his contract."  

Hey thanks, Baseball fans, I'll enjoy the first few years of his contract now.  Eat it, Texas.   

Since: Sep 16, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:28 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

For one he's 27. 2; His Dad was never as athletic as Prince is and he played until he was 36.  Pounding balls over the roof at old Tiger stadium.  3; he can Dh and lengthen his career.  Now you know how we feel when your sox spend crazy $$$.

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:28 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!!!

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!!!

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:27 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Short term .. probably work out pretty good.   BUT ... long term, this is a God aweful deal on so many levels it's laughable.   Prince is 28 .. he'll be 29 in May .. and as a young guy he's already struggling with massive weight problems.   When he gets over the 30 hump, this guy will explode as his metabolism slows down.   A guy like this could literally lose his skills over night.  The only saving grace is that he went to an American League team and maybe that buys him a couple of years cuz he can DH.   Teams signing these long term deals haven't seen the back end just yet .. but when they do, they will regret the day they ever made such ludicris commitments.   No way this guy's body holds up when he hits his thirtys .. so enjoy it while you can.   Bad move.

Don't get me wrong -- I think giving ANYONE a 9 year deal is ludacris.  Fact is though -- in the final year of the contract, Fielder will only be 36 years old.  So while his skills will diminish some over the length of the contract -- he still hasn't hit his "prime years", which in baseball they say it is 28-33.

As far as the weight problem -- People have said the same thing about Cabrera and each year he has come into camp in better shape than his last.

Personally -- the part of this deal that I don't like is what it will do to our team defense.  We already have liabilities in the field and adding Fielder isn't going to help much.  Plus, once Martinez comes back -- it will force Cabrera to move to 3B most likely where he hasn't shown he can handle playing there.

Also -- my guess is this deal is the Tigers owner last ditch effort to put together a World Series team.  He has more money than he can ever spend in 20 lifetimes and at 82, has stated he wants to win a World Series.  Will be interesting to see what the Tigers do from here on out??  I have a feeling they will be making some trades or small signings to upgrade defensively. 

Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:27 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Buy a championship...? Half of the Tigers starting lineup and half of their starting rotation is "home grown" talent and like any other competetive team they try to better themselves through trades and free agency. I wouldn't classify what the Tigers are doing as "buying" a championship. They're not over paying for big names past their prime in a desperate grab at a championship- they're building a perenial condender with young, proven talent with guys like Cabrera and Fielder in addition to their young drafted talent like Verlander, Boesch, Porcello, Avila, etc... Get your s*it straight before you call out a team for "buying" a championship!   

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:27 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

It is a lot of money, but he has proven he is a great and durable player up until now. You can never assume he will always be healthy, ask Griffey Jr. 

If you are a Tigers' fan, enjoy this one! For us Cardinal and NL Central fans, other than the Brewers, we are equally excited. Get him out of this division!! No Pujols and no Fielder. NL Central will be looking a little different this year.

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:25 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Man I love all you jealous Yankee and Red Sox fans. You get out bid and all of a sudden it's stupid deal. If it we're you, you'd be running your big mouths about what a deal it was.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:25 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

u sound like a bitter montreal expos fan lmaooo GO TIGERS !!!!! Dont hate

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:23 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

Yikes! Kind of dampens my hopes that the Indians might be able to compete this year if they remained healthy. But, kudos to the Tigers for stepping up and spending the money to go for it. Wonder what it would be like if the Indians ever did that. Doubt I'll ever find out now that the Jacobs family is just a distant memory. Still, the Tigers are only the heavy favorite "on paper". They now have their two best players occupying the same position, along with the injured Victor Martinez. This may cause some tension. Are they going to ask Miguel Cabrerra to return to 3rd? And, nine years for a guy with that body? This might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Tribe. Might force their management to spend more and, the Tigers are going to be restricted by the albatross of that contract if Fielder starts to break down from that weight like Bartolo Colon did. And, when these big guys go, they end up going in a hurry. Heck, Fielder's got no incentive to get in better shape now like he did when knowing he was nearing free agency. He's set for the next nine years and his lifetime. Only time will tell how this ends up playing out. But, I do know this...the Yankees aren't getting value for what they are paying A Rod... And, I doubt the Angels will get value for what they'll be paying Pujols in 3-4 years. Plus, they're stuck with those contracts for a long, long time.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Prince Fielder signs with the Tigers

In the short term, big steal for the Tigers pulling Prince Fielder away from the Rangers. This gives a huge boost to a lineup that was solid already. Monster lineup protection with Fielder/Cabrera hitting third and fourth. Big World Series push while Verlander is in his prime, and why not.

In the long term, the Tigers committed over 200 million for a player without a defined position. I thought the Tigers would want to pursue a big time outfielder coming up, now they have a boatload of money tied up into 1B/DH. I sure hope Prince likes the bench, because that's what he has signed up for. Miguel Cabrera hasn't played third since 2007, and this is Miggy's team, I see him staying at 1B. Plus nine years is a long time. Ask me how Mark Teixeira is going over the next couple of seasons.

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