The Fresh Prince of Detroit inks mega-deal

25 Jan

Prince Fielder inked a deal with Detroit for a reported $214 million big ones over 9 years which puts him squarely on a par with the highest earners in the game. Texas appeared to be the favorite to snatch the slugging first baseman, or possibly Washington if everything else fell apart, but Detroit snuck in and paid Prince like a king. Grabbing a player the caliber of Fielder is a steal for sure, but you have to ask how much sense it makes and what it means to the balance of power in the AL.

Putting Prince and Miggy Cabrera next to each other in the lineup is an automatic anal hygiene check for 90% of the pitchers in the game. It is more frightening than seeing Fielder and Braun together in my opinion. If Victor Martinez comes back ready to go full force next year, that is a middle of the order to rival any in the game – possibly the best around. Detroit has pitching – Verlander plus a few tomato cans is a decent staff, but Scherezer et al make it good enough to dominate short series play. Defense however is going to be a big question. How dio you get all those bats in the lineup that Detroit is stockpiling?

Fielder is paid too much and is too young to DH so he has to play first. Beyond that, he is a defensive upgrade over Cabrera. For a big guy, Prince is agile and quick. That is the only place to play him that makes sense. Similarly, Cabrera is in the same boat aside from being a defensive albatross. maybe that is harsh, but his defense comes and goes with no seemingly rational explanation. Still, he has to go back to third. You can’t put him in the outfield because he doesn’t have the wheels or experience. Even focus may be an issue.

Barring another move, Alex Avila catches and everyone else stays put. It’s not ideal to move Cabrera again, but you have to figure the increased run production will outpace any defensive lapses. Detroit should ride the extra production to a Central Division title, but against the East and West it may not be as big of an impact. In the west, Texas has a better rotation and can out-slug Detroit – except when Verlander pitches. In the East. Love them or hate them, the Yankees are filthy. 1-9, they hit and now they have a revamped rotation that is no cakewalk. Overall, signing Fielder makes Detroit better right away, but it’s not until 2013 that Detroit makes a serious run at the pennant.

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