Yesterday the reports were free agent slugger Prince Fielder was down to a final four of Nationals, Orioles, Rangers and Dodgers for his services. Well you can throw those reports in the shitter because Detroit came in and swooped up Fielder today with an insane 9-year, $214 million dollar contract according to Yahoo Sports.
The Tigers were late-comers to Fielder’s free agency, but closed strong, outbidding the likes of the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers. The sides were working on the final details of the contract Tuesday, and the deal is pending a physical.
Adding Prince to Detroit's lineup is clearly a huge gamble. Miguel Cabrera will have to move to either third base or DH to accommodate Prince at first. Miggy would look horrible at the hot corner in my opinion. The Detroit defense particularly in the infield isn't going to be solid. But then again with Prince in the lineup I'm sure they will score a lot more runs than they butcher infield grounders that cost the pitching staff runs.
With Fielder making over $20 million a season he will be the third Tiger joining Miggy and Justin Verlander. Obviously that is a ton of money to invest in 3 players with two of them having serious weight issues and one being a blown arm away from eating a lot of money.
I know giving Fielder a 9-year contract is absolutely insane but at the age of 27 I like it a lot better than what the Angels gave for Albert Pujols. Fielder has been extremely durable playing in over 99% of the Brewers' games during his 6 seasons in Milwaukee.
An interesting storyline will be the comparisons between Prince and his dad's time in Detroit. Cecil hit 50 homers in Detroit before the steroid era. Now with his huge contract Prince will be under pressure to produce and even blow away what Cecil did back in the early 90's. Good luck with that.
There is no doubt though that Detroit has a fresh new Prince ready to turn Motown into Titletown with his huge swing. Just be ready to shell out a little more dough Tigers fans when you hit up the concessions to support the big guy.
I thought my readers might enjoy this old photo from the SI Vault of a 9-year old Prince getting help from his dad in order to tie his shoes....