The Detroit Tigers signed free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine-year contract worth $214 million, CBSSports.com reported today, without citing where it got the information.
Fielder, 27, hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 runs batted in last season for the Milwaukee Brewers, who won the National League Central division title. He also finished third in voting for the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time.
The Tigers last week lost four-time All-Star Victor Martinez for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The Tigers were 95-67 last year behind American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Detroit lost to the Texas Rangers in the AL championship series after eliminating the New York Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.
Tigers spokesman Ron Colangelo said in an e-mail that the team had no comment.
The signing comes six weeks after the other premier free- agent first baseman, three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, signed with the Los Angeles Angels for about $250 million over 10 years. The 32-year-old Pujols spent his first 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
In seven seasons, spent entirely with the Brewers, Fielder hit .282, with 230 home runs, 656 RBI and 571 runs scored. A three-time All-Star, Fielder won the 2007 and 2011 Silver Slugger award, given annually to the best offensive player at each position.
He will pair with first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who has eclipsed 30 home runs and 100 RBI in each of four seasons with the Tigers. Cabrera played seven games last season as a designated hitter, a position held primarily by Martinez.
Fielder’s father, Cecil Fielder, played for the Tigers from 1990 to 1996, hitting 51 home runs his first year. The younger Fielder was also in negotiations with the Washington Nationals, according to CBS.
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