Welp! Mere hours after scribbling hundreds of words on the inevitability of Prince Fielder going to the Nationals, the Mighty Mystery Team rides in and saves Scott Boras’ day!

Tim Brown and some other dudes first reported the Tigers signing Prince Fielder to a NINE-YEAR CONTRACT worth a reported $214 million bucks. Which reminds me of this line I threw in to that piece earlier today:

A smart move until, when his deal in finalized and publicized, we all realize none of the trickery and misdirection prevented the former Brewers first baseman from signing a multi-year deal worth nearly $200 million dollars.

Let there be no doubt: Scot Boras knows the market and will not settle for any less that every last cent it will bear. That Prince gets nine years and $214 million bucks isn’t really that shocking a number, really. Shocking though is…well this:

Any and all one-year or three-year pipe dreams were just that: dreams. Fantastical fever dreams completely divorced from reality. As Sam points out, Prince gets a massive contract with a chance to get another final pay day, provided he’s still viable as a player at the end of the deal.

Back to reality, more specifically the new American League reality. Turns out the Detroit Tigers are going to score a bunch of runs! With Victor Martinez out for months with a knee injury, the Tigers did a pretty exceptional job of securing excellent backup.

Miguel Cabrera, the man moving positions in this case, is just a year older than Prince and arguably the better hitter. The two of them together form quite the fearsome duo in the middle of any order. Partner them with Victor Martinez and the rest of 95 win team and, well, thanks for your best efforts, everyone in Kansas City!

When Victor Martinez does return in 2013, the Tigers have some decisions to make. V-Mart is nobody’s everyday catcher, especially with the excellent Alex Avila in the mix. Martinez will be 34 on Opening Day, 2013 with two years remaining on his sizable contract. Given the manner in which the Tigers splashed the cash today, there is nothing to suggest they wouldn’t take another bracing spoonful of financial insanity and eat some of Martinez’s deal to facilitate a trade.

As always with a contract of this size, the validity of all the rumors and half-truths presented over the last four months comes into question. How many teams seriously considered going nine years for Fielder? Earlier today the talk centered on the Naitonals willingness to add a seventh year to their offer. Nine years? Insanity.

What kind of player will Prince Fielder be in nine years? Does it matter? As was said elsewhere, to acquire Prince’s age 27-32 seasons, you have to pay for his 32-36 years. Is that worth it? The Tigers now have an astronomical amount of money invested in three players, including reigning Cy Young and American League MVP Justin Verlander (ugh). Three players at their peaks, it must be said. But this team is now into World Series or bust mode.

The Yankees solidifies their starting rotation. The Angels adds Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Texas adds Yu Darvish. The Rays turning prospect water into wine. The Red Sox show no signs of ever not being the Red Sox. The prospect of getting out of the American League is so daunting, the Tigers must feel they need to not only keep pace but steel themselves for battle beyond the AL Central.

In Cabrera and Fielder, the Tigers have two bad body mashers in the absolute prime of their career. How long can they collectively stave off the ravages and time and keep this very expensive window open? Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers front office gambled a considerable amount of money that they can keep smashing taters while Justin Verlander and his rotation mates stay healthy enough to compete with the Yankees, Angels, Rangers et al.

Meanwhile, the American League middle class feels the pinch. The Mariners, the Blue Jays, the White Sox are now faced with tough decisions. One of those teams saw the writing on the wall early, realizing it can’t beat the heavy hitters at their own game so went out to assemble a top notch farm system in a (probably futile) attempt to circumvent the rich teams hold on the top of the league. What of the others?

The incredible influx of high-end talent to the already-loaded American League means an already difficult task just became Herculean. They don’t decided playoff spots in January and spending money doesn’t guarantee anything. But talent does. Prince Fielder is the latest talented player to join the AL fray. Should be a most interesting season indeed.

Comments (55)

  1. Um…….. Wow.

  2. I was thinking they might be in on Burnett, but never expected expected Fielder. And when VMart comes back they will have 3 DH’s.

  3. Holy crap!

    That’s a lot of Chrysler vehicles.

  4. Angels add Pujols (with Trout on the way(, Tigers add Prince, Texas adds Darvish, Yanks/Sox/Rays still strong…yikes. How many Wild Card spots are they adding again?

  5. Try 9 years, 214MM, according to Heyman, who, um, should be right as a Boras confidant. AAV of 23.8MM, that’s a shit-tonne of money for a fat dude. Maybe he’s CC or Ortiz. Otherwise, that’s a scary contract. (Glad the Jays didn’t top that, thank you.)

  6. Is this real life?

  7. WOW…good for Prince. Look at that lineup, Detroit is TOUGH! I’m do ne complaining about contracts and money, if they want to pay it let em!

  8. I don’t know about you guys, but I think Cecil was major factor in Prince’s decision to go to the Tiger. I mean, they were on the same team. Prince did it for Dad, not the 214 million for 9 years. Right?

  9. Who, precisely, were the Tigers bidding against? Was there another team out there that was willing to go to nine years? Was there another team offering an AAV that far north of $20mm, and a total value over $200mm? Either the stories about the market for Prince collapsing were way off, or Boras is even more of a genius than he gets credit for being.

  10. AA is still a ninja, but so Is Boris obviously. I’m struggling with this reality, but I think I’ve got a solution:

    I now think of AA as Snakeyes from GI Joe and Boras is StormShadow from COBRA.

    • if aa doesn’t change his philosophy we aren’t competing and by the middle of next season all you guys on your knees, will be calling him an idiot.

      imo, aa’s plan has already failed. i rember aa saying last season were will ing to spend the money on the right pieces for our club in fa

      now, all the sudden he’s like trades are the right way to go and i have not seen him make a trade for a key guy yet or a prominent guy anyways.

      it was rumoured that they naroowly missed out on latos and gio, rumoured they were/are also interested in prado, and yet anthopolous says we’re done with adding significant pieces to this ballclub.

      excuse me sir, but, since when is ben francisco a significant part of a team? sure sergio santos has potential,but, he was clearly expendable to the sox.

      i’ll give them papelbon because he signed a ridiculous contract, but, madson was available for a long time and signed for cheap.

      you’re telling me that a guy like oswalt or some of the other starters that are available weren’t on your list?

  11. Maybe the Tigers are banking on the next CBA adding a secong DH spot.

  12. THIS AIN’T A SIGNING, IT’S AN ARMS RACE!

  13. Is it weird that if I could pick any player off the Tigers roster for my team, the player I’d most want is still Alex Avila? Is that crazy?

  14. This story has been completely misreported.

    The story is that Cecil Fielder just purchased $214 million worth of cheeseburgers for the next 9 years from a Detroit-area restaurant that he and Prince are going to share.

    • Not funny. Not funny at all. Go work for SNL…they require your nonsensical comments. On the way there, tell Jimmy Fallon he’s horrible at life and everything it stands for.

  15. You’ve got to respect an owner that wants to win in this league and is willing to spend to do it. The Tigers certainly look like AL Central favourites for the foreseeable future.

  16. You guys didn’t record the podcast yet, did you? #Rerecord

  17. Big f’n deal, Detroit. What’s Prince gonna do when Farrell taps his left arm for Darren Oliver in the 7th?

    Suck it, Detroit.

  18. Woooooooo!!! GOOO TIGERS!!!!

  19. The NL had a nice little run, didn’t it?

    • Only one NL team has to beat one AL team in a seven game series.

      • What is your point?

      • The Twins win sometimes, too.

        • I agree with Brian K.

          @ AL: your point was horrible. Get a new point. Throw out that one in the garbage. Wake up early so you know that the garbage man picked up your garbage point and threw it in the back of the dumpster. Only then will you get rid of your horrible/garbage point.

          Then do the Tebow.

  20. I bet AA was on the phone to Detroit in a blink asking what it would take to get Cabrera…

  21. Most importantly, Fielder to the Tigers means Parkes was wrong again.

  22. This is how you compete. You can sign as many mediocre bullpen options as you want, you don’t win without stars.

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