By Logan Holman
The Detroit Tigers recently made an out of nowhere signing that is the fourth most expensive in all of baseball history, signing first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine year, 214 million dollar contract.
Prince was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 MLB draft. He was selected in the first round and as the seventh overall pick, making his MLB debut on June 13, 2005. Since then, he has asserted himself as one of the best sluggers in the game, accumulating 996 hits, 230 of which were homeruns, while having 656 RBI. Not to mention the 566 walks, batting average of .282 and an on base percentage of .390
There is no doubt that he is a great pick up for the Tigers. He has averaged just over 32 homeruns in his six years in the show. Tack that on to the thirty plus Miguel Cabrera hits a year, along with the other power hitters stitched in throughout the lineup. Some sports experts say that the three-four hitter combination of Cabrera-Fielder will be one of the best lineups baseball has ever seen. Cabrera hits for a sturdy average usually above .300 with a guaranteed 100 plus RBI.
Needless to say, he was the cornerstone of the offense. Prince was just in a lineup with superstar Ryan Braun and the two were the best three-four hitters in baseball. But now he is with Cabrera and the two are destined for greatness.
The signing of him was actually quite coincidental. According to the Detroit Free Press, the agent of one of the Tigers’ starting pitchers, Max Scherzer, is also the agent of Fielder. That agent, Scott Boras, was on the phone with Tiger VP John Westhoff. They were working on a contract extension for Scherzer when Westhoff cracked a joke. He asked if Prince Fielder was interested in a deal. Boras responded yes, for nine years.
Prince Fielder inking a nine year deal with no opt out clauses was one of the most unseen, blindsiding moves in baseball, except I saw it coming all along. When the season ended, the focus of the baseball scene went to who would sign superstars Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. I was talking to a few friends and told them I thought the Tigers would sign Prince Fielder, not because I had inside info, but just because he was my favorite non-Tiger player. Everyone laughed and made a mockery of my claim. Well, look who is laughing now.
The Tigers made the greatest deal I have ever seen. It is a much bigger deal then the Angels signing Pujols. This deal brings Prince home and will create one of the greatest lineups baseball has ever seen. It helps bring Detroit one step closer to one of the best sports cities in America, and makes the Tigers one of the favorites to win the World Series. Fielder’s deal will help Detroit greatly. The arrival of Fielder should have some much needed help for the struggling city of Detroit.
What started as a joke puts the Tigers on top and the city of Detroit in a better position. Prince may have changed baseball as we know it. No superstar goes to a small market team. But Prince did. For once the big free agent is not going to New York, Miami, St. Louis, L.A., Philly or Texas. But Prince did. Detroit never signs the superstar, and no superstar wants to sign with Detroit. But Prince did. That is what makes this deal so great. Prince chose Detroit, he wanted to bring a World Series title to Detroit. He wanted to sign the fourth largest contract in baseball history with the Tigers. He wanted to help the economy of Detroit. Prince did.