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GM says Prince Fielder “probably not a good fit” for Tigers

Jan 20, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

Prince Fielder Reuters

Victor Martinez‘s season-ending knee injury puts the Tigers in the market for a veteran designated hitter and has some fans getting their hopes up for Prince Fielder, but general manager Dave Dombrowski threw cold water on that notion yesterday.

Angela Wittrock of MLive.com asked the GM about Fielder during the Tigers’ winter caravan tour and Dombrowski replied:

Of course we’d consider Prince Fielder, but realistically it’s probably not a good fit. We anticipate Victor Martinez coming back in 2013 and playing at the level he was at last season. I would just say the fit is really not there at this point.

Fielder might make sense as a Martinez replacement this season if the Tigers were willing to dramatically expand their payroll, but the problem is that Fielder will require a long-term deal and Martinez is owed $13 million this year, $13 million next year, and $12 million in 2014. And the Tigers also have first baseman Miguel Cabrera under contract for $86 million over the next four seasons.

  1. papacrick - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Talk about pipe dream. There was no chance he’d wind up here. The only way you get him on a one year deal is if you pay him 30M for the season and thats after no team offers him the long term contract we’re all waiting to hear about. The chances of that not happening are slim to none. The interested teams are waiting it out in hopes of driving down his price. His lack of conditioning has to be a factor when considering him as a long term option. Some team will roll the dice and it should be an AL team. Can’t picture this guy taking grounders when he’s 37 and weighing 408 lbs.

    • JBerardi - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      “Can’t picture this guy taking grounders when he’s 37 and weighing 408 lbs.”

      Well you don’t have to because a six year deal would only take him to age 33.

      This is the thing I don’t get about Fielder. Yeah, he’s a big dude, and year, big dudes do tend to decline early. But he was only 27 this year. Plenty of big fat guys have been good into their early 30s. Mo Vaugh was good until he was five years older than Fielder is now. Hell, Cecil Fielder was good until he was about 32. Yeah, if you give him a six year deal maybe you’re eating it on the last couple years. So what? Any time you can get a half-decade of star-level play in free agency, that’s a win. And flags fly forever.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    He might be a good fit with the Brewers.

    • trevorb06 - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Fielder’s price dropped enough for the Brewers to make a run at him. I don’t think it’d be in their best interest though, as I agree Prince is best suited for the AL to be the next David Ortiz of DHing.

      • paperlions - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        Unless his price gets down to -$10M, that probably ain’t happening. The Brewers GM said recently that their projected payroll was to be in the low $90M range, and they are now over $100M (I’m guessing that is mostly thanks to KRod accepting arbitration and settling for $8M).

  3. Old Gator - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    The Fat Prince is beginning to resemble a dirigible on whose passenger decks there has been a smallpox outbreak, drifting from country to country in forlorn hope that someone will offer it a tie-down. He’s a one-man Voyage of the Damned for the diabetes and bariatric generation.

  4. yankeesfanlen - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    The obvious answer for a Tigers DH would be Damon or Matsui- whomever doesn’t return to the Universe.

  5. dracko19 - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Maybe VMart should call Albert Pujols doctor and get some of those drugs that he took to recover from injuries in half the normal amount of time.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      “Hey Al, can I have some of your kickass genetics?”

  6. henryd3rd - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Milwaukee looks like a great fit if you asked me; plus they already have his uniform size and I am sure that it still fits.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Prince, just go to Washington. They’re they only team that can have you AND can afford you. 7 years, $140 million. Done.

    • Old Gator - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Yeah, you’ll be indistinguishable from the fat cats and porkbellied lobbyists there. Oh boy, and wait until you discover the Ethiopian joints up on Adams-Morgan…. doro wat enfolded in a rag of injera beats horrible horsemeat and Velveeta™ sandwiches all to hell.

  8. yankeesgameday - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Wow, second best power hitting first baseman in baseball can’t get a job

    • baseballisboring - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Yeah this offseason makes little to no sense. Papelbon gets 50 mil, Madson has to settle for 8, the freaking Marlins sign Reyes and Buehrle, Prince doesn’t have a job two weeks from spring training, the Pineda-Montero thing is one you don’t see much…

      • baseballisboring - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Er…more like a month. But my point stands. It’s been a fun one.

      • paperlions - Jan 20, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        Prince would have had a job in December if he was asking for a reasonable number of years and dollars….he’s fat man that can’t field or run and has been inconsistent (alternating great years with mediocre) with the bat….the one skill he does bring to the table.

        Over-priced things tend to be tough to sell.

  9. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    There is one other option, it’s not real likely, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility…if the Tigers wanted to get a little loco, that is.

    Detroit could sign Prince this year and rotate him and Miggy in and out at 1B/DH, so neither one gets rusty with the glove.

    Then in 2013, they could move Miggy back to 3B (I know, I know) and slot Prince/VMart in at 1B/DH duties.

    None of those cats are great shakes with the glove at first, but Miggy was only about as awful at 3B as he is at 1B and his bat makes up for the runs he gives up over at the hot corner.

    It’s not ideal defensively, but it gives ‘em a way to get three very potent bats in the lineup and it would only need to be a two year solution because there’s only two more years (after his lost 2012) left on VMart’s contract.

    At that point, Prince will probably be at a DH-only kind of place physically, so it works out.

    It’s outlandish and probably poor decision making, but that’s why I’m commenting on a message board and not working in a front office. Just trying to think outside the box.

  10. pitolove124 - Jan 20, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    GM’s are tired of Scott Bora’s bullshit and are getting back at him. Prince should have went a long time ago but Boras is trying to squeeze whatever he can. He doesn’t care about Prince- he cares about his big cut

  11. westcoastredbird - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Fielder is an excellent fit for Arby’s!

  12. tonyc920 - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Pitolove, Being a Brewer fan and state resident, I think this whole Scott Boras thing is holding Fieder back. The owners and GM’s don’t like his B.S. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Fielder firing Boras and he signs a 1 year deal for 20 mil with the Brewers. He shows everyone why he deserves the Big Bucks and takes a shot at free agency again next year. Brewers fans love him and he will definitely sell enough tickets for the Brewers to cover the extra expense.

  13. Brian Murphy - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Well, so much for that.

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