January 24, 2012

Tigers Sign Prince Fielder for 9 Years, $214 Million: The Detroit Tigers have signed Prince Fielder to a 9-year, $214 million deal, the fourth-largest in baseball history. Fielder's dad Cecil played in Detroit from 1990 to 1996. As a 12-year-old, Prince once hit an upper-deck home run at the old Tigers Stadium while hanging out with dad at the yard. "It raises the question ... about what the Tigers will do in 2013, when Fielder, Cabrera and Martinez seemingly would be in line for two spots: first base and DH," reports the Detroit Free-Press.

posted by rcade to baseball at 04:03 PM - 12 comments

Nine years is a really long time. It will no doubt become a burden after a while. But I'm still thrilled about this deal. I had no idea that the Tigers were pursuing Fielder, so it certainly is great news.

I figure the Tigers will have Martinez doing some catching and mostly playing DH, Fielder at first, and Cabrera either at third or in right field. The defense will be dreadful, but I consider it a small price to pay.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:12 PM on January 24, 2012

Seeing as how Martinez is apparently sidelined for all of 2012, the Tigers have a bit of time to determine how to resolve their logjam at the positions towards the left side of the defensive spectrum.

posted by holden at 04:55 PM on January 24, 2012

Victor Martinez is, of course, already injured and out. Cabrera is capable of playing great, going to rehab, or being horribly out of shape. And Fielder, listed as 285 pounds (lol), will likely only get bigger, physically, as the years of this contract go on. Having young players all aiming their ever-growing bodies toward the DH spot will, as YYM said, prove to be a burden.

That being said, first Pujols, now Fielder to the AL? Seems like pitchers will be fighting to go to the NL.

posted by dyams at 04:57 PM on January 24, 2012

Cabrera is capable of playing great, going to rehab, or being horribly out of shape.

Cabrera has delivered MVP caliber seasons the last two years and has been stellar four years running.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:30 PM on January 24, 2012

It's too bad they moved out of Tigers Stadium. That would be really fun to watch.

posted by yerfatma at 06:09 PM on January 24, 2012

I think this pretty much cements Scott Boras as the greatest sports agent in history.

He somehow convinced Detroit to pay Fielder ~$24million/year, AND pay him that amount for nine years, until his age 36 season.

Why is this so amazing?

  • Detroit already has an MVP-calibre first baseman.
  • They convinced the Tigers to actively disrupt their MVP-calibre first baseman and make him move (to DH/3B/OF/where ever)
  • The market for Fielder had completely dried up:
    • New York Mets are broke
    • Los Angeles Dodgers are for sale
    • New York Yankees already have a bloated payroll and a first baseman
    • Boston Red Sox are cutting costs.
    • Texas Rangers already spent their money on Yu Darvish
    • Los Angeles Angels spent their money on Albert Pujols
    • Chicago Cubs are in clean-house mode with the new GM
    • Miami Marlins had already spent their free agent money
    • Milwaukee Brewers offered the same per year, but only 5 (or 6) years

This is mind boggling.

posted by grum@work at 09:39 PM on January 24, 2012

If I were relocating to the state of Michigan and I signed a contract like that, I would demand that the terms never became public knowledge.

posted by beaverboard at 11:48 PM on January 24, 2012

Grum- I thought the same thing when Werth inked his deal with the Nationals. I don't know if Boras ever swings and misses. He's a beast.

posted by DudeDykstra at 11:59 PM on January 24, 2012

Practically nobody was in the market for him now, and it's certain nobody will be in the market for him in the future (especially at his current price), so all you can really say is, enjoy the next couple of years Detroit.

posted by dyams at 06:07 AM on January 25, 2012

This smacks of a win-it-now mode. Mike Ilitch is 82. He badly wants a World Series championship.

After hearing Dombrowski in the past few days, it didn't seem the Tigers were going this route. But Ilitch holds the pursestrings...

posted by roberts at 07:17 AM on January 25, 2012

To be fair, Dombrowski never actually tells you what he's going to do.

posted by apoch at 08:08 AM on January 25, 2012

As a Brewer fan who found Fielder a bit overrated and obnoxious, the fact that he's heading to his dad's former team (considering their well-publicized feud) is fairly amusing. That was the offer he accepted.

Unless, of course, his full intention is to completely overshadow his father forever, on any and every team he ever played for, but I don't think he's got the moxie for it.

posted by evixir at 09:30 PM on January 27, 2012

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