Prince Fielder has reportedly signed a nine-year deal worth $214 million with the Detroit Tigers. This instantly re-buffs a Detroit Tigers lineup that had just suffered the loss of run-producer Victor Martinez to a torn ACL. It has just been announced that Miguel Cabrera has agreed to play 3B in 2012, slotting in the 275lb Fielder at 1B; the two will most likely share the DH spot. In 2013, with the return of Martinez, the Tigers can utilize their versatility by shifting each of the three as DH on any given day.
The deal is only the fourth in major league history to exceed $200 million, with the other three being Alex Rodriguez to Texas, Alex Rodriguez to New York, and Albert Pujols to the Angels. The Tigers, who won the AL Central by 15 games in 2011, should undoubtedly be division, if not American League, favorites in 2012.
This is the third part of our nine-part series entitled Set You Free, which takes a position-by-position look at this offseason’s free agency market. Today, Tyler Wasserman asks a simple question: who’s on first?
Last week, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took the baseball world by storm by signing Albert Pujols to a massive 10-year $254 million contract. In doing so, they secured themselves not only the best first baseman on the free agent market, but also arguably the best player in the game today. Let’s take a look at what remains for teams looking for free agent first basemen:
Let’s start with the Angels. Undoubtedly, their most recent signing instantly pushes the franchise into title contention. However, is Albert Pujols worth the approximately $25 million per year that the Angels are paying him? His career average is .328. He averages 123 R, 600 AB, 42 HR, 126 RBI, an OBP of .420, and .617 SLG. It doesn’t take much explaining to understand that Pujols, and his career stats over 11 years, make him one of the greatest players to date. However, when considering the contracts of other high-caliber players, the Angels overspent on Pujols, and are taking a considerable risk.
MLBDepthCharts.com is the creation of baseball junkie Jason Martinez, who has been intrigued by the construction of rosters since childhood. The website, and a soon-to-be-released digital magazine, allows readers to follow along as he deconstructs and rebuilds the pieces to the roster puzzle for all 30 major league organizations. The website has become a valuable resource for baseball fans, fantasy geeks, beat writers, reporters, scouts, and front office executives. In July 2011, MLBDepthCharts was named to SI.com’s inaugural Twitter 100, a list honoring the most essential twitter feeds in the sports world.
Jesse Behr: Since the story is hot off the press, what’s your reaction to the Marlins reeling in Heath Bell?
Jason Martinez: I understand the concerns people are going to have. Giving a 34-year-old with a declining strikeout rate a three-year, $27 million deal is risky for obvious reasons. But let me put a positive spin on this, since I’ve watched him on a daily basis here in San Diego. His stuff is still there. I couldn’t tell you the reason why his K rate is down, but the mid-90′s heater and sharp breaking ball haven’t gone away. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for the past five seasons, first as a setup man to Trevor Hoffman, then as the Padres’ closer. Bell will be fine for the first two years in Miami. I’d worry how effective he’ll be in year three of the deal when he’s 36 years old. But that’s less of a concern for a team that has a sense of urgency to compete in 2012.
I like to talk. I like to talk a lot. Most of the time, I have things worth saying. Sometimes, it just flies right over people’s heads. Regardless of what I’m saying, how I’m saying it never comes out quite perfect. Doesn’t matter whether I’m talking baseball or chatting with a babe from the SU Volleyball team (which, come on folks, it’s clear there isn’t much of a difference for me at this point), the chances I exactly what I want to say are not high.
However, this is not the case with statistics.
Elite Defenders is one of many projects already underway at FoI that allows statistics to speak for both us and speak up for themselves. I’ve sat down with my buddy Tom Barrile countless times this semester, arguing for hours on end whether or not baseball is the superior sport over football (obviously, as everyone deep-down knows, it is). What we CAN’T ARGUE is the number of television viewers that watch the MLB postseason compared to the NFL playoffs.
In Episode 138 of Listen Up! hosts Jesse Kass & Scott Heineman reunite as Scott returns from a three absence while in Europe. Jesse & Scott discuss the ongoing NBA Finals and how the Spurs have jumped out to a 2-1 lead over the Heat and who will end up winning the series. The hosts then discuss same of the new NBA coaching hires, whether Jason Kidd w […]