According to multiple sources the Detroit Tigers have signed free agent slugger Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract.
I have to admit that I am surprised that a) the Tigers signed Fielder and b) that they invested so much money in him.
The first question is where does Fielder play? Will they move Miguel Cabrera back to third base or to have Fielder and Cabera share first base and DH roles?
And what happens when Victor Martinez returns next year from his season ending knee injury? Will the Tigers be able to play Fielder, Martinez and Cabrera? If they can, then that is probably the best middle order of any team in baseball.
But those are all questions for another day. What the Tigers got is a terrific ball player. Fielder, 27, has averaged 38 home runs over six full seasons and twice hit 46 or more. He finished third or fourth in NL MVP voting, including third – behind teammate Ryan Braun and Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp – in 2011.
He also was among the most reliable players in the game. In his six seasons, he sat out eight times, so played in 99.2% of the Brewers’ games. He’s missed one game in the past three seasons.
Even though he never expected to re-sign Fielder,Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin called his departure “somewhat of a sad day,” in comments to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Melvin said the Brewers never made Fielder an offer once the team found out the terms that agent Scott Boras was seeking.
“Scott said from Day 1 it was going to be $200 million,” Melvin told the newspapper. “When you hear those kinds of numbers, we couldn’t get involved in that. All I can say is we had the feeling it was going to be very difficult to keep him.”
While some baseball analysts call Fielder’s deal absurd, I like it. Consider that the Angels gave Albert Pujols, who is 32, a ten-year $240 million deal this summer. The Tigers get a younger slugger (27 versus 32) for less years (9 versus 10) and for slightly less money ($23.77m v $24m).
What do you think of Prince Fielder deal? Dos it put the Detroit Tigers back in the playoffs?