A Prince for Detroit

That $214 million is enough to make anyone smile!

The Detroit Tigers have ended the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, signing the first baseman to a nine-year, $214 million deal Tuesday afternoon. There were multiple reports in past weeks as to where he would end up and which team was the front-runner for Fielder’s services.

I hadn’t heard the Detroit Tigers mentioned once.

But in the end, all that matters is which team lands the All-Star. It doesn’t matter that the Washington Nationals were in the market for his services. Or the Texas Rangers. Or the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers won, and Fielder is bound for Motown.

The most intriguing part of this deal to me is the fact that Prince is off to the franchise that was a home for so many years to his estranged father, Cecil. From 1990-1996, Cecil was a big star in Detroit, and he never had a longer stint with any franchise in his 14-year career. It’s going to be weird to see a “Fielder” jersey again in the Detroit dugout.

Apparently Cecil is shocked his son signed with the Tigers as well, telling MLB Radio on SiriusXM he was surprised, but confident Prince would be very comfortable in his new surroundings.

This deal is also interesting in that the Tigers already have a very, very good first baseman — Miguel Cabrera. Since losing designated hitter Victor Martinez to a torn ACL last Tuesday, maybe Detroit felt they needed to make a move to get someone who can replace Cabrera at first base when he moves to DH. I can’t imagine they were in the Fielder sweepstakes when Martinez was healthy, because there wouldn’t have been a starting spot for everyone.

Fielder is just 27 years old, and he will bring 230 career home runs with him to a lineup that is quite strong already. He has batted .282 in his 998-game career and he’s notched 656 RBIs in that span.

Last season, he played all 162 games, batting .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI. The scary thought is that he may get better in the American League if he and Cabrera are switched between first base and designated hitter.

In my opinion, this is the best news possible for Braves fans. One of the most dangerous power hitters in the National League is no longer in the league. Even better, he won’t be playing for a team in our division any time soon, after hearing for weeks that he may be playing for the Nationals in 2012.

Hopefully, the investment pays off for Detroit. They usually nail it with their investments.

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