Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prince to Motown

In a somewhat shocking development, Prince Fielder has agreed in principle to a 9-year/$210 million deal with the Detroit Tigers.  I say shocking because the Tigers were rarely talked about as contenders in the Fielder sweepstakes.  My hometown Cubs, the Rangers, Nationals, and Mariners were some of the teams pursuing Fielder, but never did I hear the Tigers mentioned.  The Tigers know will have probably the most potent heart of the order in the game as Fielder will join fellow heavyweight Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the order.  I just heard Cabrera will move back to third base and wants to do so to pave the way for Fielder.  Additionally, with the loss of Victor Martinez to a torn ACL, they may seek out help for the DH spot, possibly trying to land a Johnny Damon or someone of that caliber that can produce at a decent enough clip.  With Pujols with the Angels and Fielder now with the Tigers, the National League has lost two sluggers in a very short span of time.  While the Cardinals did win the World Series last year, it makes you wonder if an NL team has enough firepower to do that.  The Phillies are aging but still have a lot of great bats, so only time will tell.

Let's take a little look at the Tigers and what they will look like with Fielder on the team.  They will be significantly better offensively even though V Mart will be out.  Avila was the all-star starter last year and could continue to blossom, and they also have some nice young players who will continue to grow.  Verlander is an absolute stud, but I think one of the other starters will have to win 16+ games at least to make them great.  They are the clear-cut frontrunners in that division, but you have to play 162 games.  Last year, we saw epic collapses late from the Braves and Red Sox, and the Tigers have been known to collapse in the past.  Will Prince Fielder give this team the killer instinct they need?

Finally, I wanted to address this one last issue.  Do you think Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers to spite his estranged father, former Detroit Tigers player Cecil Fielder?  Maybe he wanted to stick it to his dad and become the king of Motown....Let me know what you think in my poll.

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