Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prince Fielder agrees to 9-year deal with Tigers

Well, that just happened.

Prince Fielder, the man who would have been perfect hitting behind Matt Kemp, just agreed to a 9-year, $214 million deal with the Detroit Tigers today.

Fielder will take Victor Matrinez's spot in the lineup, as he suffered a torn ACL last week and could miss the vast majority of the 2012 season.

Preliminary reports make it sound like he'll play first base for the Tigers, forcing all-world hitter Miguel Cabrera to change positions. Cabrera came up as a shortstop and has experience in left field and at third base.

Having said that, the Tigers do have the benefit of the designated hitter, so I'm betting the two split time at first and DH.

There was talk he might consider a 1-year deal to hit the market next off-season when the Dodgers could afford him. That obviously went by the wayside.

Instead, super agent Scott Boras worked his magic again, landing Fielder a 9-year commitment and more than $200 million.

It now seems the Dodgers are going to have to acquire a big bat via the trade market once a new owner is in place. The best bat available next off-season is Josh Hamilton, who isn't the most durable player and I'm sure the Rangers wouldn't want to let him walk so easily.

A name to keep an eye on is David Wright of the Mets. They're going nowhere fast and Wright isn't the lifetime Met many thought he would be. He has a $16 million option for 2013 (I think... Cot's is down at the moment) that isn't a no-brainer for the Mets to exercise.

Fielder would have been nice, but it wasn't meant to be (and certainly not for that contract). I've already written about how the Dodgers blew their chance -- even with limited funds (or so we thought). The $23.8 million average annual value isn't absurd, but the nine-year duration is less-than desirable.

James Loney's job is safe -- for now.

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