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Prince Fielder signs 9-year deal with Tigers

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Happened.
Happened.

I'm just catching up here. I go shopping and leave my cell phone at home and news comes out the Tigers are about to sign Prince Fielder to a 9-year deal, $214 million deal? Holy crap.

Can I just quote myself here:

But it's fun to dream about Fielder, isn't it? I'd love to be wrong.

And so, I was definitely wrong, and I think I'll be pretty glad when I catch up on everything.

Expect updates when I figure out what happened.

Update 1:

  • Multiple reports suggest that there is no opt-out clause. The Tigers and Prince will be together for a long, long time.
  • I'm too awe-struck to get my head focused.
  • There will be a podcast recorded tonight.
Update 2:
  • HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!
Update 3:
  • Here's a link to SB Nation's Baseball Nation site to follow the story from another angle.
  • CBS Sports' Danny Knobler suggests Cabrera could move to third base while Fielder plays first.
  • Beyond the Box Score ruminates on the same "How will the Tigers make this work?" question.
  • Also please have a look at MLB Daily Dish and SB Nation Detroit.
  • We'll do a full links roundup later, but with all the folks coming to see the news I wanted to make sure everyone knew the other resources on our network.
Update 4:
  • Who hits third? Who hits fourth? I DON'T CARE! (As long as it involves Fielder and Cabrera. No Kelly and Young, thanks.)
Update 5:

A couple of quotes from the MLB Network Analysts Dan Plesac and John Hart. (We'll just have to forgive Hart for being a former Indians GM.) Thanks to MLBN for passing these quotes on for me to use!

John Hart:

On owner Mike Ilitch's role:
"I'm sure Dave Dombrowski recommended this deal, but Dombrowoski doesn't make this deal by himself. The owner has to be the one to step up. In this case, Mike Ilitch said, "Hey, we're all in." The American League is going to have to go through Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera back-to-back."

On the impact of Martinez's injury:

"I don't think they would have signed Fielder if Victor Martinez didn't go down. When Martinez went down, the Tigers said, "There's nobody we can trade for to replace Victor Martinez." They're not going to pitch to Miguel Cabrera if Victor Martinez is not there. With Fielder, you have no place to hide.

On wanting to win sooner than later:

"Detroit smells it right now. They were aggressive and went out and got the best player available. Not every organization could do that. ... When they signed Prince, they weren't thinking about twelve months from now."

Dan Plesac:

On how this impacts Cabrera

It makes Miguel Cabrera the hitter that he is. He lost his protection in Victor Martinez, but now with Fielder, you take a look at this lineup, this is one of the teams that you're going to have to go through to get to the World Series in the American League. Detroit has separated themselves in the A.L. Central.

On what opposing pitchers will be thinking:

As a former pitcher, you know where Prince Fielder is in that lineup. He hits right-handers and left-handers. Martinez hits for average, but Fielder brings the long ball. ... This three, four is without question the best right-handed, left-handed combination in baseball. ... Martinez is a professional hitter, but you know where Fiedler is in the lineup 30 minutes before the game.

Update 6:

Update 7:

In case you can't tell, I am happy about this. Now I haven't gone all analysis on it and mathy or any of that other stuff. But as of right now, I remain ecstatic. Those posts will come over the next few days -- today is a day of celebration!