Free agent first baseman Prince Fielder has agreed to terms with the Detroit Tigers on a huge nine year $214 million dollar contract, in a move that has to be considered a surprise to the baseball world. I doubted that
the devil himself agent Scott Boras was going to be able to get Fielder any more than $200 million, and he once again is able to swing a blockbuster deal and Detroit adds some serious punch to an already stacked lineup.
One major reason that the move is a surprise, the Tigers already have one of the best hitters in the game at first, Miguel Cabrera (who hit .344 with 30 HRs and 105 RBI last season). The two players combined probably weigh upwards of 600lbs, but should produce a TON of runs in the middle of the Detroit line, one manning first and the other at Designated Hitter. The Tigers upped their pursuit of Fielder after star DH Victor Martinez tore the ACL in his left knee last week, likely putting him on the DL for the majority if not all of the 2012 season.
The move comes with some risk, Fielder has never been a designated hitter, playing his entire career in the NL with the Milwaukee Brewers. Miguel Cabrera has played at 3rd base (not since 2008 when he played in just 14 games at 3rd and was about 50lbs lighter than today) and in the outfield (not since 2005, when he was about 100lbs lighter than his present weight) so there is a chance we could see them both in the field together at some point. More likely, one will DH and one will play first, night in and night out. Prince Fielder has had issues keeping his weight down, which could be problematic over a nine year deal, which ends when he’ll be 36 years old.
Another reason the move is interesting, Prince Fielder’s father Cecil played for the Detroit Tigers for his seven most successful seasons, including 1990, when he hit 51 home runs, drove in 132 runs, and finished second in league MVP voting. Prince and his father are no longer on speaking terms, and you have to wonder if the opportunity to break his dad’s club records are a reason he signed with the Tigers.