DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) – The Detroit Tigers have reportedly signed former Tigers first baseman Cecil Fielder’s son Prince Fielder to a 9-year $214 million deal. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman’s broke the news on his Twitter account.
Prince became a free agent this off-season and all the talk was whether or not he would sign with the Tigers after the well-known falling out with his father. Many speculated he wouldn’t come to Detroit, where he could have to answer questions about his father.
Prince Fielder grew up in Detroit while his father Cecil played for the Tigers in the early 1990s. Coming off a season where he hit .299 with 38 HRs and 120 RBI, Prince Fielder is a three-time All-Star. He has played in the major leagues since 2005 when he entered the league with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he has spent his entire career.
Cecil Fielder himself weighed in on the deal in an interview with Sirius XM Sports, where he revealed he was as surprised as the rest of the world.
“That’s crazy, I mean I think he’s going to come full circle. You know, he was in Detroit most of his young life. I think if he’s comfortable in that place, you know, I think adding him to what they already have is pretty strong.”
Cecil Fielder added: “I didn’t even see Detroit in the picture. I didn’t even see that happening, with all the talk about the Nationals, the Texas Rangers … I never seen Detroit making a move like this.”
What role will Prince Fielder fill?
Heyman Tweeted that Fielder is taking over first base and Miguel Cabrera “will have to change roles.”
“A Fielder-Cabrera combo in the middle of that order will dominate AL Central pitching. Throw Justin Verlander into the mix, and the Tigers have three of baseball’s biggest stars,” Heyman wrote in his blog.
Tigers play-by-play broadcaster Dan Dickerson said Fielder will be an incredible addition to the team’s lineup.
“He is a very likable young man. And, just my impression from watching him and the couple of interviews I’ve done, he’s gonna be a great fit in this clubhouse and that bat — it’s gonna make a lot of people smile,” Dickerson said. “I mean, this is just gonna energize everyone.”
Signing Fielder would fill a void left by the knee injury to slugger Victor Martinez, who is expected to miss the entire 2012 season.
Cecil Fielder gave Tigers owner Mike Ilitch much of the credit.
“I know Mr. Ilitch is probably excited. He’s been wanting that kid since he was a little kid,” Cecil Fielder said.
So, how are father and son doing these days?
“We’re having a few chats, we’re doing a lot better than we were,” Cecil Fielder said. “Time heals all wounds, everybody has to come back together at some point … I know one thing, I’m just happy for him. Everybody was anxious for him to get signed. I know there’s a lot of stress of off him. I know he’s happy. That’s the most important thing.”