We’re hearing from multiple sources within the Twitterverse that the Tigers are not only kicking the tires on Prince Fielder (after not being listed on the short list of remaining suitors as late as yesterday night) they have inked him to a 9-year $214 million contract. No one knows the details at the moment, but we’ll be reporting them as soon as we are able.
This looks for all the world like a Mike Illitch signing as opposed to a Dave Dombrowski signing – if the man wants something he will buy it. And make no mistake, Fielder may play very well over the next nine years for the Tigers but he will never bring in an extra $24 million a year in revenue. Thank Santa Illitch for this extravagant gift to Tigers fans everywhere.
One would have to assume that this means that Victor Martinez‘ time in Detroit will be at an end, there will be no lineup vacancy for him to return to in 2013 when that tendon has healed. Unfortunately for the Tigers (and perhaps for Martinez as well) it may be difficult to find a taker for his salary before he proves he’s knocked off the rust after missing 2012. But while this deal has huge future implications – what we (and, no doubt, Mr. Illitch) are really thinking about is NOW. The year of the weak Central and a heavy favorite in the Motor City. Prince Fielder is one of the best hitters of the game and only entering the prime of his career. As good as Victor Martinez was behind Miguel Cabrera in 2011, seeing Fielder bat cleanup behind Cabrera in 2012 will be a thing to behold.