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This news impacts the Chicago Cubs at least tangentially – former divisional opponent, possible prior interest – and, even if it didn’t, it’s worth writing about for the shock, alone. According to Jon Heyman, Tim Brown, and Ken Rosenthal (each getting a piece of the story), the Detroit Tigers have been Boras’d, and have signed Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract.

Yo. That’s a serious contract right there. And it came from the “mystery team.” Until today, it looked fairly likely that Fielder would be going to the Nationals.

The implications of the deal as far as the Cubs are concerned could be limited, or expansive. It ends any speculation that the Cubs could flip Alfonso Soriano or Marlon Byrd to the Tigers (as I’ve said for some time now). The impact on the Tigers’ possible interest in Matt Garza will be interesting to watch. On the one hand, the purse strings probably just got a bit tighter. On the other hand, I’ve heard that Victor Martinez’s contract was insured against knee injuries, so the Tigers’ budget for 2012 might not have changed all that much, depending on how Fielder’s contract is structured. Further, with Fielder on board, the Tigers may decide that now is the time to strike, and adding Garza on top of Fielder is about as solid a “strike” as you can make.

For my part, I am certain there was a time, early in the offseason, when the Cubs were modestly interested in Fielder. I reported as much, as did Bruce Levine, among others. The rub, though, as we always cautioned, was that the Cubs would sign Fielder only on their terms: a short-term deal, no longer than five years. When it became clear that Fielder was going to get a long, big money deal elsewhere, the Cubs moved on.

I’d venture a guess that the decision to move on came shortly before the January trade that sent Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na to the Padres for first baseman Anthony Rizzo and pitcher Zach Cates.

Is anyone complaining? I’m certainly not.

  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

    WOW, I certainly hope that contract has some options for the tigers…if not, they will regret that deal in about 3 years…

    • Wilbur

      Not so much as an NL team. The DH will keep him relevant longer than 3 rs.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Now the Royals need to step up and go after Garza.

  • CubFan Paul

    he got the $23Million a year i predicted he would get. the market set his price months ago, especially with pujols getting 24M a year

    • JulioZuleta

      $23.8 to be exact. Pretty much in the range everyone expected. Maybe a year or two longer than expected.

      • CubFan Paul

        nah. ‘everyone’, mostly had prince getting ryan howard money or short term A-Rod money ..no one was predicting “market rate” (texiera and gonzalez money)

  • Seth

    It looks like Fielder is going to push Miggy out of 1B duties…

    https://twitter.com/#!/JonHeymanCBS/status/161903758933110784

    I wonder how he feels about that.

    • JR 1908

      Miggy did use to play 3rd, but man it’s been awhile..

  • BD

    I’m glad he’s in the AL now, one less Cub-killer in the division.

  • mysterious4th

    The NL had the 2 most powerful hitters last year and now they are in the AL so this seems to be good news for the NL (central). Glad our rotation doesn’t have to face them as much as we did. Seeing as how we have an ok rotation. Maybe that’s a dozen homers we don’t give up, this year I think we will be giving up plenty as it is.

  • CubSouth

    Glad to see that he didn’t sign with the Nats. I’m also glad to see he signed with a former team of his father. The team that most know his father by.

  • Edward

    Have the Cubs offered to help pay any of Garza’s salary? If I’m in charge, I offer Garza and a chunk of his salary to Detroit or Kansas City for their top prospects. Take away Garza’s financial liability and his trade value goes up quite a bit.

  • njriv

    Good luck White Sox, the best team in the division just got better.

    • ferrets_bueller

      This move, IMO, helps the white sox.  They’re rebuilding, and by the time they’re done in a couple years, Fielder will be beginning in decline.  In a couple more, when they’ve gone from competing again to contending again, he’ll be an albatross.

      • CubFan Paul

        you need prospects/assets to rebuild. the sox farm…

  • ferrets_bueller

    “On the other hand, I’ve heard that Victor Martinez’s contract was insured against knee injuries, so the Tigers’ budget for 2012 might not have changed all that much.”

    doff of the cap to their management on that one.  However…that smart move is easily outstripped by this 214 million dollar mistake.

     

  • Matt

    Holy crap, so much for Boras having a bad winter.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Wonder if Boras was spotted nearby when Vmart got hurt :P

    • Seth

      LOL

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      the old banana in the tailpipe?

      • OlderStyle

        good one, I remember that from Beverly Hills Cop.

  • NewStyle

    Could this be anymore perfect? I think not!

    • Seth

      Takes Fielder out of the NL Central and the Tigers out of the Cespedes Race.

  • JB88

    Boras owns Dombrowski. This has to be the third or fourth time that Dombrowski basically bid against himself and landed a Boras client late in the process. Really amazing that Boras has that sort of Jedi mind control over DD.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    People on twitter are saying Miguel Cabrera will play third. Really? Are they going to have two third base man and only two out fielders?

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      wow really? than DH?

  • Irish cub

    Does This take the tigers out on cespedes?

    • JulioZuleta

      Good question, can’t help their chances.

    • cls

      One would think, yes. But I think it is becoming somewhat clear that the Cespedes race is (at least publicly) between Chicago and Florida, with Florida talking of throwing crazy money at him.

  • Kyle

    It is fascinating how much FA talent flows from NL>AL every year. It’s hard to prove, but I strongly suspect that the AL is a much better league overall.

    I can’t believe Boras got someone to pay that much for him. That’s just way, way too much. He’s an elite hitter, but he’s truly such a bad defender and baserunning that he gives back about 20% of his offensive value. And he’s very likely to age very poorly.

    • EQ76

      Just think in the AL, the Rangers, Angels, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays…won’t all make the playoffs.. they’re probably 6 of the top 8 teams in baseball.

    • WGNstatic

      To me, it is the DH. Plain and simple AL teams have more roster flexibility to get the best available bat into their lineup, not to mention the built in insurance policy of an aging player with diminishing fielding skills.

      It might be time to level the playing field between the two leagues.

  • Ron Swanson

    Additional interesting aspect to this is that Detroit is where Cecil spent much of his career. As I understand it, Prince and Cecil do not have much of a relationship, but interesting that he’s following the old man.

    • JulioZuleta

      I think he’s following the money that happened to to come from the same place. Some one tweeted that Cecil was told by reporters about the deal and was shocked. Doesn’t sound like there’s a whole lot of father-son communication.

      Unrelated, I remember hearing an interview in which Prince claimed that he hit an upper deck shot at Tiger Stadium when he was 12 years old. If that’s true, he should be able to leave the stadium by now.

  • colocubfan

    I love how the so-called experts (Heyman in the previous article on Bleacher Nation) predict who will get these guys, and then they’re signed by somebody even unmentioned in their list of possibles!

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      They don’t have a crystal ball. They report what they here and maybe some is made up, but there really isn’t any way to know 100%.

  • Tim

    Overall this is a good contract insofar as Fielder can move to DH later and continue to hit 100 RBI seasons for at least 6 years. It’s going to get dodgy the last 2-3 years when he turns into a pumpkin; they would have been better off giving a 7-year deal, but Fielder is a pro and has great character as a leader and player. It’s really just a matter of fitness regarding why he wouldn’t be worth the last few years.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Geez I hate to see the Greedy prince and his greedier agent prosper.
    Well, I can’t say that I am surprised though, after all, his dad was a Tiger too for many years.
    Hopefully that sends the Tigers into a frenzy to acquire Garza.

    • Jim

      Why shouldn’t they prosper? This is America, correct? Or are athletes and their agents not allowed to live the American dream? If you had that talent wouldn’t you want to get the most money you could while you were still able to play?

      You’re entitled to your opinion but don’t be a hypocrite.

      Good for Prince and Boras too, I’d rather see them get the money instead of the owners.

  • Tim

    On the Garza thing, I agree that this increases the possibility of his being traded to Detroit. They absolutely should go for it over the next 2 years. That said — I see no reason not to sign Garza for the longterm. The guy is good and can settle nicely as a decent #2 on the staff for years to come, especially if we get him for a reasonable Danks-esque rate.

  • rcleven

    Must be big money day Tim Lincecum has a oral deal pending physical 2 year 20mm.per.

  • Rmoody100

    Does anyone think that now that Nick Castellanos is blocked by Cabrera that this deal might be a precursor to us maybe getting him and Turner for Garza? I still think it is probably too much to ask for but just fft.

    • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

      The Tigers might be willing to move Castellanos now, but I don’t think they’d do Castellanos and Turner. If the Cubs would agree to Castellanos, Smyly and maybe one other guy, a deal might get done.

    • WGNstatic

      Maybe, but… I have a really REALLY hard time believing that the Tigers seriously consider Cabrera a long term answer at 3B.

      Granted, after this year the 1B/DH positions look pretty crowded. But… really? Cabrera at 3B?

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        hot stove is saying that miggy will DH. inge at 3rd, and prince will play 1st. outside of this season however its hard to say.

  • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

    The Mystery Team strikes again.

  • Dave

    “I see no reason not to sign Garza for the longterm. The guy is good and can settle nicely as a decent #2 on the staff for years to come, especially if we get him for a reasonable Danks-esque rate.’

    Based on what he asked for arbitration I hate to think what he is going to want in order to sign a long term contract.

    • Tim

      This is true, but since he has to deal with the Cubs putting his name in the papers every day as expendable he may also be trying to either get something out the door or give some payback to the team treating him without requisite respect.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Probably 12-13 per. which isn’t all that bad.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        i agree. and a great alternative if we cant get a package of good youngsters. garza at say 5yrs 60-65M okay… still a bargain. we’re still in good shape. you gotta pay a guy what hes worth somewhere down the road or you gotta trade him.

  • Sweetjamesjones

    This proves VERY interesting. Nine years though? Ugh. I hope the Tigers fans enjoy the buzz because the hangover will be terrible.

    • gratefulled

      Zing!

      I can’t wait to watch Rizzo play.

  • Matt

    I have to think this helps us in a trade with Detroit. They are clearly going after it this year hard. Hopefully Garza’s arbitration gets cleared up in time to make something happen.

  • Steve

    I must say…WHEW!!! Not that we were ever in the running, but I’m soooo glad we didn’t do that deal. Now we can totally focus on the task at hand.
    Now I’m going to make a prediction: Volgelbach will be our star 1st baseman, not Rizzo. Rizzo will end up being a #2 starter for us in 2 years (via trade)
    There. I have it in print.

  • Leo Deleon

    Tim Lincecum just got 2yrs 40mil. ESPN was the source

    • EQ76

      That’ll buy a LOT of weed!

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