Home MLB Fielder and Detroit agree on a nine-year contract worth $214m

Fielder and Detroit agree on a nine-year contract worth $214m

by Matt Smith

I closed down my Twitter app for half an hour to get on with some writing on Tuesday evening. During that period news broke that free agent Prince Fielder has reached agreement with the Detroit Tigers on a nine-year contract worth $214m

Like most baseball fans, my reaction was along the lines of ‘BLOODY HELL!!!’.

The full repercussions of this news, still to be officially confirmed at time of writing, will be considered over the days and weeks ahead as we look forward to Spring Training.  However, here are some of my initial thoughts.

The money involved

We’ll probably need to wait several days to get the full ins and outs of the actual contractual terms, but if we start from the position of a nine-year commitment worth $214m, that makes for a total sum of just a shade over £137m. It would put Fielder in line to be earning £292,870 per week, every week for the next nine years. Yes, the drinks – and the pub in which they are served – are on Prince.

Boras does it again

Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, has shown once again that people really shouldn’t doubt his ability to get his clients a huge payday.  Despite all of the big market teams who were never likely to be in the running for Fielder’s services, Boras still managed to secure the fourth largest deal in MLB history. 

I was wrong, but ..!

It wasn’t long ago that I reviewed what interest each of the thirty MLB teams may have had in Prince Fielder.  My comment on Detroit:

“Nope. Miguel Cabrera is happily entrenched as their first baseman and the Tigers won’t be adding another big contract exclusively for a Designated Hitter”.

It’s fair to say I was ever-so-slightly off the mark with that assumption, although I did write that before the news of Victor Martinez’s knee injury; a blow that clearly impacted the Tigers’ thinking.

We don’t yet know for certain how the Tigers intend to play both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder together, so it’s possible that Fielder will take over at first base (Cabrera DH-ing or maybe – while it will not be a pretty sight – going back to third base) which would just about allow me to claim my comment wasn’t completely wrong.

Regardless of that, and the fielding aspect of this deal, the prospect of Cabrera and Fielder hitting back-to-back will give plenty of American League pitchers nightmares.

All aboard the American League express

The American League had already taken the National League’s top first baseman in Albert Pujols. With Prince Fielder joining the former Cardinal in making the move from the Senior circuit, the National League has really taken a hit when it comes to star power this offseason. 

All-Star selections

Picking a first baseman for the American League All-Star team has just got ridiculously difficult and it adds more weight to my argument that there shouldn’t be a separate Designated Hitter spot on the ballot. 

First basemen and Designated Hitters should be combined into one pool from which you have to make two selections.  If Cabrera does become the Tigers’ DH then it’s a slightly reduced issue, but as it stands you could well end up with David Ortiz effectively getting a free ride onto the team as one of the few full-time DH’s, while several of the best hitters in the Majors get caught in the AL first base log jam. 

Injuries create opportunities

Back in 2004, Aaron Boone suffered a knee injury while playing a game of basketball, breaching his contract and opening a spot at third base that the Yankees subsequently filled by trading for Alex Rodriguez.  We now have another major star signing with a team following a roster gap caused by a knee injury. It seems unlikely that the Tigers would have signed Prince Fielder had Victor Martinez not recently been ruled him out for the entire 2012 season.

Managers are always keen to stress that injuries to key players create opportunities for others. That’s undoubtedly been the case for Rodriguez and Fielder.

Six into four (or five) won’t go

The competition in the American League has just become even more intense.

With the Yankees, Red Sox and the Rays fighting in the East, the Angels and Rangers battling it out in the West and the Tigers making another big leap forward, someone’s going to be very disappointed even if MLB Commissioner Bud Selig gets his way and the extra Wild Card is introduced for the 2012 season.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.