First: Prince Fielder's contract was poison. More importantly, he was going to be poison in Detroit unless he single-handedly won a World Series by himself. If he did the Barry Zito, overcoming the expectations and failures to have a single defining moment in the postseason, everyone would forget about the combined .196/.267/.239 line in 101 plate appearances for the Tigers in the playoffs. That's possible. I wouldn't want to spend $168 million to find out, which is what Fielder has left over seven years.
Second: The Rangers and Fielder have always made sense. It made sense at the time, considering the Rangers have struggled to find a long-term solution since Rafael Palmeiro left (while generously bequeathing young first basemen to the rest of baseball). Prince Fielder at Arlington, even considering the down seasons, is going to be fun to watch.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas / Ft Worth agrees the deal makes sense.
For the Rangers, this immediately gives them that middle-of-the-order presence that was the top priority this offseason. The offense lagged last season in terms of scoring runs consistently and missed having power hitters Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli in the lineup. When Nelson Cruz departed for 50 games because of a PED suspension, the lineup got even lighter.
Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot calls the move a big win for the Tigers.
Give lots of credit to Dave Dombrowski; the potential nightmare back half of Prince Fielder‘s nine-year, $214 million contract is no more.
Instead, Fielder and the $168 million he’s still owed is gone after two mildly disappointing seasons in Detroit, with Ian Kinsler‘s more palatable deal coming back. There will be some cash also going to Texas, but not so much as to make this look like anything but a win for Detroit.
Fox Sport's Ken Rosenthal does the math. The Tigers made out like bandits.
Here is the math on the finances: Prince owed $168M. #Tigers pay $30M of that, plus Kinsler’s $62M - total of $92M. Savings of $76M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 21, 2013
Could Fielder's post-ALCS elimination remarks played a role in the deal? Bob Nightengale of the USA Today believes so.
The #Tigers were privately upset w Fielder's comments after final game of season and may have played factor in deal— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 21, 2013
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News hints at the team having issues with Fielder's attitude as well.
Fielder punched his ticket out of town for feeble effort in playoffs, sure, but also for bizarre indifferent attitude.— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) November 21, 2013
If true, MLB Network's Brian Kenny thinks that reasoning is a mistake.
If Det is dealing Prince because of bad 3 weeks, bad rundown, and bad post-game interview...that's bad decision making.— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) November 21, 2013
Tony Paul of the Detroit News says things change.
In Jan. 2012, Prince signing was heralded as move that would get #Tigers over the hump. Today, Prince trade could actually be that move.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) November 21, 2013
Dombrowski moving what was believed to be an unmovable contract shocked the media, yet they weren't surprised. If anyone on the planet could deal Fielder, it was one David Dombrowski.
Love Dave Dombrowski's bold, decisive style. No way Prince would have played in blue-collar Motown after Who-Cares elimination attitude.— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) November 21, 2013
Dombrowski: You don't understand. We fixed the glitch.— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) November 21, 2013
Fielder trade latest reason there should be trophy called The Dombrowski. Goes to team official who makes deal of the year in any pro sport.— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) November 21, 2013
Any discussion of greatest Tigers of all time now must include Dave Dombrowski.— Jamie Samuelsen (@JamieSamuelsen) November 21, 2013
Dave Dombrowski, ladies and gentleman. Distract us with Smyly talk while he works on a blockbuster.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) November 21, 2013
If the Tigers make this trade and save enough money to keep Scherzer, Mike Ilitch is going to retire Dave Dombrowski's laptop.— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) November 21, 2013
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News thinks the deal gives the Tigers a great deal of flexibility. Positives all around
Castellanos moves to 3B immediately. Will have no adjustment problem. Has only been in LF for 17 months. Reunion with IF should benefit him.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) November 21, 2013
Cabrera and Victor Martinez likely to do some shift-swapping at 1B. Also possible Cabrera will work some days at 3B. Ample flexibility.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) November 21, 2013
Cabrera will happily go to 1B. Wants to win. Knows this deal makes his team much stronger. Castellanos to 3B, improved bat and glove in LF.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) November 21, 2013
•Prince traded! | Implications | You weigh in
•Who should the Tigers try to trade during the hot stove season?
•Offseason target: Andre Ethier | More possibilities
• 2013 yearbook | Jhonny Peralta
•Essay: Jim Leyland’s legacy in Detroit
•Follow us on Facebook!