The Tigers have agreed on a nine-year deal with first baseman Prince Fielder, Yahoo's Tim Brown first reported on Twitter.
According to a follow-up report by Jon Heyman, the 27-year-old slugger is set to make $214 million over nine seasons. The addition sets up a powerhouse pairing of Prince and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the Tigers' order, supplimenting Victor Martinez until he is healthy. The Nationals were considered the front-runner to sign him by several industry insiders up until this morning, and the mystery-team Tigers weren't even listed among the final four candidates. The Tigers, who could use Fielder as a DH as early as this season, should be considered easy favorites to win the American League Central.
Too rich for Nationals' blood: "In the end, the Nationals stayed true to their mantra from the start of the offseason: They were interested in Fielder only if his asking price came way down, specifically the number of years he was seeking. Everyone expected agent Scott Boras to be able to command a deal of 8-10 years when Fielder became a free agent in November, but in the ensuing months no clubs publicly or privately stated they would be willing to meet those demands.
"Thus, the Nationals appeared to enter a sweepstakes they never expected to be in, perhaps presented the opportunity to sign one of the game's premier sluggers for well below his perceived market value.
"But Boras has rarely, if ever, settled for less than he wanted, and he's always been a master at playing the market to his advantage and making the baseball world believe one or more clubs were offering more than they really were. In this case, he managed to convince the Tigers to lock up Fielder at a price no one else could match." - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com