A few weeks ago, we told you there wasn’t a chance in hell that the Detroit Tigers would be able to sign prized free agent Prince Fielder. Even Dave Dombrowski said last week that it would be a nice signing but it probably wouldn’t happen. Then, Victor Martinez tore his ACL in his left knee in early January. That injury changed everything. The Tigers were left scouring for a bat to replace their key signing from last year. Even then, talks between the Tigers and Fielder were nothing to think much of.
However, around 3pm, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Tigers had made the biggest splash of the off-season.
Prince Fielder agreed to a 9-year, $214 million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers.
The deal came together incredibly fast. Details of the contract still aren’t known, however sources say there is NO opt-out clause and Fielder can DH in the final 3-years of the deal. What it comes down to is this; Mike Illitch is getting old. And he’s realizing he has a TON of money left. He wants to win at least one more Stanley Cup with the Red Wings and wants to see the Tigers win multiple World Series’ under his reign. Sometimes you have to pay to win, and that is what he’s hoping Fielder will bring; Winning.
The most asked question is where to put him in the lineup. Ultimately that answer will be brought up by Jim Leyland but it is widely speculated that Fielder will stay at first base and Miguel Cabrera will move to third base. He played 3B back in his days with the Florida Marlins so he has playing experience there. Miguel Cabrera was asked by the Tigers how he felt about the situation before they signed Prince. He gave them a thumbs up on the deal.
The middle of the order for the 2012 season should look like this: Cabrera, Fielder, Avila.
In 2013, when Martinez returns from his knee injury, he will take the place in the order of Avila and most likely stay a full-time DH, while Prince is at 1st and Cabrera is at 3rd.
We will continue to bring out details in this contract as soon as we get word. What an unbelievable time to be a Detroit Tiger fan!
WELCOME TO DETROIT, PRINCE FIELDER!