All-Star power hitter Prince Fielder signed a nine-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, the franchise where his father once hit 51 home runs in a season.
The Tigers announced the signing in a news release without disclosing financial terms. The deal is worth $214 million, according to CBS Sports.
Fielder, a 27-year-old first baseman, 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.
“Prince Fielder is one of the premier offensive players in the game of baseball, and we are extremely excited to add an All-Star caliber player like him to our lineup,” David Dombrowski, the Tigers president, said in a statement. “The addition of Prince is a testament to the organization’s continued commitment to fielding a championship club.”
Fielder’s father, Cecil Fielder, played for the Tigers from 1990 to 1996, hitting 51 home runs his first year. The younger Fielder, who took batting practice with the Tigers as a child, hit 50 home runs in 2007 for the Brewers.
The Tigers last week lost their designated hitter, four-time All-Star Victor Martinez, for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Detroit was 95-67 last year behind American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. It lost to the Texas Rangers in the AL Championship Series after eliminating the New York Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.
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 awards, given annually to the best offensive player at each position.
He will pair with Miguel Cabrera, who has eclipsed 30 home runs and 100 RBI in each of four seasons with the Tigers. Cabrera was the Tigers’ first baseman last season, with seven games as a designated hitter, the spot held primarily by Martinez. Fielder started 18 career games as a designated hitter, batting .247 with three homers, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The other premier first baseman in this year’s free-agent group, three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, signed six weeks ago 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.