Prince Fielder, the behemoth who once laced homers into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium as a teenager has decided to follow the money to Detroit–the city where his pop became famous for both his girth and his stadium clearing moonshots. Considering the relationship between the younger and older Fielder, I can’t imagine that Detroit was high on Prince’s wish list. No need to drum up the old memories or all the Cecil comparisons and questions, but when the market is getting a little tight and February is looking awfully big on the horizon, you do what you have to do. In poor Prince’s case, that was maybe rehashing some things he doesn’t want to get into in exchange for 23 million a year for a whopping 9 seasons. That’s some serious DH money. Oh, he’ll be playing first base (poorly) for now.
It’s another Scott Boras miracle, saves Boras’s off-season, I imagine. It doesn’t make Ryan Madson feel any better, but to pull a near-Pujols deal out of thin air this late in the game is quite an achievement. The move by Detroit breaks some hearts in Toronto, Baltimore, Washington and probably even Texas (the Mariners never had a shot). For Phillies fans, this is pretty much best case scenario. Fielder’s departure weakens Milwaukee (if Braun misses 50 games they’re in big trouble) and the fact that he didn’t land in their division makes a sixth straight NL flag a little easier to envision. With the exception of Florida’s splurge, most of the open wallets this winter were in American League cities.
There certainly seems to be some type of power shift headed in the AL’s direction right now, or perhaps that league is just getting more top-heavy. You could make the argument they’ve been the top league all along, but they’ve still lost 3 of the last 4 World Series. Last winter one of the biggest points of discussion was the stockpiling of arms (especially young ones) in the National League. That ended up not being much of an indicator of how the season would play out, though, and so we’ll have to wait and see if the TV contract money era is enough to change the balance of power. Texas, Anaheim, Boston, and Detroit with all their wealth are certainly going to make it hard for other teams to get a sniff.