The Detroit Tigers shocked the baseball world by stepping in to sign Prince Fielder Tuesday. The deal is as hefty as the bulky first baseman — 9 years for $214 million, according to reports. The terms of the contract, as well as the structure of the Tigers’ current roster, makes the signing a surprise.
Detroit already has Miguel Cabrera signed for four more years with $86 million remaining on his contract. He played outfield and third base for the Marlins, but has played first base almost exclusively for the Tigers. Cabrera reportedly told a Venezuelan newspaper he expects to play third base to accommodate Prince, and a few other reporters confirmed those plans.
On top of Cabrera and Prince manning the corners, the Tigers will have Victor Martinez back after next season. Martinez’s torn ACL, which took him out for the season, is probably the reason the Tigers jumped into the Fielder contract talks. Victor is set to make $25 million from 2013-14 and he was already DHing most of the time with Alex Avila catching. If Miggy can’t work at third base, the Tigers will have three sluggers with only two positions to play them in a few years. I suppose they will wait for that time to come before worrying.
The good news for Tigers fans is that they will have one of the strongest power lineups in baseball. The bad news is they may have more sluggers than they have positions on the field. Oh yeah, they also have Prince signed until his 36. Hopefully for their sake there is an opt out clause.