Who says Major League Baseball can’t steal headlines during the height of football season? In a story first reported by CBS Sports, the Detroit Tigers are close to signing former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine-year contract worth $214 million.
I should be shocked by this news, but with the precedent first set by Cliff Lee taking less money to go to the Phillies last year, and the Angels swooping down in the 25th hour to sign Albert Pujols this past fall, nothing should surprise me anymore when it comes to major free agent signings in MLB.
While the move was undoubtedly triggered by the season-ending ACL tear suffered by All-Star catcher/first basemen Victor Martinez, Fielder isn’t your typical Band-Aid signing. While it’s not yet determined who will hit where in the lineup, the combination of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera will absolutely obliterate an AL Central that isn’t exactly stocked with staff aces. Detroit won the AL Central by 15 games last year without Fielder’s prolific bat, so it’s possible they could dominate the division again. Meanwhile defending AL Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander has to be salivating at the possibility of winning 30 games this season with the Cabrera/Fielder combo lending added run support.
Not lost in all of this madness is the fact that Fielder has now signed with the same team that his estranged father belted bombs for throughout the 90s. Hopefully this signing will help trigger a reconciliation between the Feuding Fielders.