Prince Fielder, the other marquee free agent in this years class is no longer on the market.
Fielder, 27, just signed a nine-year, $214 million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers. With him he brings 250 career home runs and a lot of girth at first base and designated hitter.
This signing on its surface looks like a great move, and a quick strike to replace injured all-star catcher/DH Victor Martinez. Fielder will slide nicely into the void left by Martinez, who was declared out for the entire 2012 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
On the other hand the Tigers just got a little less athletic.
While I can’t fault the Tigers for swooping in on a player averaging 38 home runs and 108 RBI’s I can question the length of the contract. Fielder, for all we know, could come to spring training looking like John Olerud and all questions will be answered regarding his weight.
My guess is he won’t but that isn’t even the biggest question I have. The Tigers, coming off a division title in 2011 have so many other holes to fill I wonder why go get Prince. Especially considering in 2013 you will have three sub-par defensive first basemen making a combined $58.7 million dollars. For those of you wondering if Martinez will catch more the answer is no. Alex Avila has that covered.
It will make for an interesting trade market next year with Detroit holding three very attractive chips for a contending team to add a bat to their order. For now though, Motown shouldn’t be lacking fireworks from the lineup the Tigers have. While we’ve been fooled before I think this lineup is a little more formidable than the one in 2007.
My thought is as long as he steers clear of his dads diet and keeps himself in pretty good shape through the duration of this contract the Tigers should reap major rewards from this move. Which leaves just one question:
Has any division had a rougher hot stove than the National League Central?