Prince Fielder hit 38 homers with 120 RBI last season with the Brewers. (By Jeff Curry, US Presswire)
DETROIT (AP) — Free agent first baseman Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers agreed Tuesday on a nine-year, $214 million contract that fills the AL Central champions’ need for a power hitter, a person familiar with the deal said.
CBS first reported the agreement.
The person told the Associated Press that the deal was subject to a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract was not yet complete.
Detroit boldly stepped up in the Fielder sweepstakes after the recent knee injury to star Victor Martinez. A week ago, the Tigers announced that the productive designated hitter could miss the entire season after tearing his left ACL.
The Tigers won their division by 15 games before losing in the AL championship series to Texas. Adding Fielder gives the Tigers two of the game’s premier sluggers, pairing him with Miguel Cabrera.
The move also keeps Fielder’s name in the Tigers’ family. His father, Cecil, became a big league star when he returned to the majors from Japan and hit 51 home runs with Detroit in 1990. Cecil played with the Tigers into the 1996 season.
Several teams had shown interest this winter in the 27-year-old Fielder, who had spent his entire career with Milwaukee. He visited Texas, and the Washington Nationals also got involved in the discussions.
The beefy slugger hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBIs last season. He is a three-time All-Star and was the MVP of last year’s event in Phoenix.
Fielder has averaged 40 homers and 113 RBIs over the past five years. He’s also been among the most durable players in the majors, appearing in at least 157 games in each of the last six seasons.
The deal is only the fourth $200 million contract in baseball history, following Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, A-Rod’s $252 million, 10-year deal with Texas and Albert Pujols’ $240 million, 10-year contract last month with the Los Angeles Angels.
Among current players, his $23.78 million average salary is behind only A-Rod ($27.5 million), Ryan Howard ($25 million), and Cliff Lee and Pujols ($24 million each).
Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week he felt finding a replacement for Martinez was a short-term problem, but he left himself some wriggle room, saying it depended who the player was.
Acquiring Fielder opens all sorts of possibilities, such as moving Cabrera to third base or having one of the two sluggers be the designated hitter.
Last week, while speaking at an event for his foundation, longtime New York Yankee Jorge Posada publicly acknowledged the end to his tenure with the only organization he’s ever known.
“I don’t think there’s even a percentage of a chance that I can come back, … It’s not going to happen.”
Posada doesn’t exactly know what he wants to do next season. Right now he’s trying to decide to retire or play for another team. He began working out on November 1 – as he always does – and said that 5 or 6 teams have contacted him.
“I will always be a Yankee, The Yankees for me is my second family. It would be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn another set of rules and all that stuff, but that’s one of those things. I have to see if I want to keep playing… Do I want to do it for somebody else? Do I want to leave home? Do I want to do it all over again without knowing anybody? It would be tough. I’ve got great people, great friends and great teammates and it would be tough to learn new people again.”
Posada said he’s not upset with the Yankees. He understands what’s happening, and he understands why it’s happening. He called his relationship with the organization, “a great partnership” and said the first check that came into his foundation for last week’s event was from the team.
Posada has found common ground with his former teammate and longtime friend Bernie Williams who went through a similar situation with the Yankees back in 2006.
If Posada decides to play next season, he guesses that he won’t make up his mind until closer to February but says he won’t let the decision linger.
“I’m not one of those guys that’s going to linger around and wait. I’ll tell you.”
- Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint in his native Venezuela outside his mother’s home and in captivity for 48 hours. The gang who kidnapped Ramos had carefully planned the abduction and told him they were going to demand a large ransom.
As part of the rescue mission, once nce investigators thought they had found the general area where Ramos might be, President Hugo Chávez personally authorised an aerial search mission and teams also set out on foot in the mountainous area. Teams searched most of the day on Friday and finally came upon the remote house where Ramos was being held.
Ramos said he was thankful to be alive and described his “hair-raising” final moments as a prisoner during the rescue on Saturday, when soldiers exchanged heavy gunfire with the kidnappers in the remote area where he was being held.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get out of it alive, It was very hard for me. It was very hard for my family.”
Albert Pujols’ former team, the St. Louis Cardinals have named former catcher Mike Matheny manager. The Cardinals will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to officially announce the move. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Matheny received a two-year deal with a club option for 2014.
Florida Miami Marlins are wasting no time and are trying to make some noise in the free agent market this winter. The team has already made ‘substantial offers’ to both Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes and have also offered a contract to Mark Buehrle. The team met with Pujols on Friday, Reyes on Wednesday and Buehrle on Tuesday. They’re also showing interest in Carlos Beltran.
Matheny, 41, doesn’t have managerial experience but is no stranger to the game. His Major League career spanned 13 seasons, including five with the Cardinals from 2000-2004. Several candidates interviewed for the job, with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona presenting Matheny’s most notable competition. Others included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.
The move figures to be a popular one for many in the organization,the Cardinals players and pitching coach Dave Duncan “love Matheny” and that they view him as the “ultimate leader.” That likely includes pending free agent Albert Pujols, who has “a ton of respect” for Matheny. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact, if any, this decision has on Pujols’ decision.
Davey Johnson, here coaching Team USA in 2009, is reportedly taking over for Jim Riggleman as manager of the Nationals. (Associated Press)
Davey Johnson, the former manager of the Mets, Reds, Orioles, and Dodgers, was expected to be named as the new manager of the Washington Nationals, the Washington Post reported late Friday.
Front office sources told the Post that Johnson, 68, and the Nationals were still engaged in final negotiations late Friday night, but had agreed in principle and that Johnson could take over as early as Monday.
Bench coach John McLaren was named interim coach after Jim Riggleman resigned Thursday but Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said McLaren would manage the team for “days not weeks.”
Riggleman unexpectedly resigned from the post over a contract squabble, saying he was disappointed Rizzo would not pick up the option on his contract for next season.
“I’m 58. I’m too old to be disrespected,” Riggleman said, according to The Washington Post.
Really? Really dude? (in my best Miz voice)
My good friend and colleague, the one and only Stan “The Fan” Charles, did a great job of detailing Davey Johnson’s return to the managing business as well as detailing the irony between Jim Riggleman and Nationals interim skipper John McLaren. McLaren served as Riggleman’s bench coacDah this season. The irony was that Riggleman’s last managing job in Seattle came about, after Riggleman had been McLaren’s bench-coach in Seattle.
Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer Jon Heyman reported that Johnson’s contract runs through the 2013 season. Johnson, 68, has not managed in the big leagues since 2000.
On the eve of the annual MLB Winter Meetings, the Washington Nationals made a big splash signing outfielder Jayson Werth to a 7-year $126 million deal
Major League Baseball’s off-season Hot Stove is red hot the evening before the annual Winter Meetings get underway in Orlando, Florida. The Winter Meetings for baseball tend to be the period where the years biggest free agents decide where they will sign to spend what is sometimes the better part of a decade. In most cases, the larger markets are the ones who are able to flex the biggest financial muscles. Today, on the eve of the Winter Meetings, that certainly wasn’t the case for one of 2010′s biggest free agents and even more so for a usual forgotten team.
On Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals (yes, I said the Washington Nationals) pulled off the unthinkable by signing slugging outfielder Jayson Werth to a 7-year 126 million dollar mega deal. As you might suspect, the signing sent shock waves through the baseball world, even industry executives.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called it a “monumental day” for the franchise. Yeah, I’d certainly say so.
The trickle down effect of this signing is immense on other free agents such as Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford but perhaps the biggest impact is felt most by their neighbors to the north, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are forced to make a splash now and just like the Nationals, they’ll be forced to overpay in order for someone to sign.
Somewhere in Orlando Carl Crawford’s and Cliff Lee’s agents are smiling thanks in large part to Jayson Werth and his agent Scott Boras.