I just got out of long meeting at work, so I decided to quickly check a couple of things on the internet before I got back to my programming and statistics. I looked at Twitter and saw a tweet about the Tigers signing Prince Fielder and figured that one of the Twitter imposters was messing around again. Then I saw something from the reliable Jon Morosi and realized it was real. My first thought was that Fielder signed with the Tigers for one year so that he could test the free agent marked again next year. Reading a little further, I was shocked to find out that the Tigers are signing him to a nine- year deal worth $214 million.. I've been following the Tigers for 44 years and I've never been this surprised by a move. I don't think anybody saw it coming at all.
I'm still digesting this and it's too early to do a thorough analysis, but needless to say the Tigers have found their replacement for the injured Victor Martinez. Apparently, owner Mike Illitch has decided he is not going to worry about budgets and wants to win now at any cost. The first obvious long-term question is what to do about the first base and designated hitter positions when Victor Martinez is ready to play in 2013. I would imagine they would be trading Cabrera or Fielder at that point (Edit: This now seems unlikely with the move of Cabrera to third base) , but it's too early to think about.
For now, their 2012 line-up will probably look something like this:
Do I like the move? Well, there is a risk all the big contracts could put them in a bind if Illitch decides to slash the budget in the future. The move is so big and so unbelievable though that I have no choice but to love it as a fan. It's obvioulsly great for this year. I'll analyze the rest of it later.