— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) January 24, 2012
Twitter became buzzing with reports that Prince Fielder had agreed to a deal with the Tigers yesterday afternoon. The news had Pirates fans rejoicing that we wouldn’t have to endure another year of Prince destroying Pirates’ pitching. The signing makes a lot of sense for the Tigers, who just lost Victor Martinez for the 2012 season. With a huge hole in the lineup, Detroit swooped in and made a huge splash (haha huge) by agreeing to sign Fielder to a 9 year $214MM contract. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said a week ago that Fielder “doesn’t fit” for the team, so when news broke that they had agreed to the deal, it came as a surprise. Adding Fielder to the Tigers creates a whole new dynamic in Detroit and in the American League. What will happen with Miguel Cabrera, will he move to third base? When V-Mart returns, how will Fielder, Cabrera, and himself all fit into the lineup? And of course, this shakes up the whole playoff picture. The Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, and Rangers all are legitimate playoff teams, but only 4 can make it. Fielder leaving for the AL also shakes up the NL Central. The Brewers now have to find a way to replace 35+ home runs and 110+ RBIs. With Braun likely out for the first 50 games, this effectively ends the “beast mode” reign of terror in Milwaukee. As Pirate fans, we’re glad that Prince is out of the division, but it’s difficult to see such a hated player go to Detroit. The Tigers were a likable team, who didn’t “buy” their wins and even had a few Pittsburgh connections with Don Kelly and Jim Leyland. But now, some could consider them in the same category as the Red Sox and Yankees for spending so much money. We’ll see how the big man does in the Motor City.