Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/25/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers shocked the world by signing free agent and former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder to a lucrative nine year deal worth $214 million.

As rapper/producer, Kanye West, so eloquently put it, “And if they hate let ‘em hate. And watch the money pile up, the good life.”

It’s not uncommon-place to hear people say the Tigers made a ridiculous move, but here’s why Brewers fans should be happy for the guy who established himself as a franchise great in Milwaukee over the past seven years.


Those Milwaukee fans who thought Fielder should have stayed in Milwaukee for less money are just crazy. Not only did Fielder deserve top-notch free agent money, he earned every single penny of his $214 million dollar contract. Might I remind you of his career stats; .282 batting average, 230 home-runs, 656 runs batted in, .540 slugging percentage, .390 on-base percentage and 996 hits.

In his seven years with the team, Fielder helped create memories that will endure in Milwaukee for a long-time.

Ever since his rookie year in 2006, the guy has smashed balls out of Miller Park, including a franchise record 18 during that season. He followed his solid rookie season with a MLB-best 50 home-runs in the midst of a MVP-caliber season in 2007. Next, he became more of a complete player over the next four years by learning how to draw walks and boost his on-base percentage. Not only was he impressive on the offensive end, he became a mainstay at first-base, almost never missing a game during the long baseball season.

This all culminated with a 2011 season where Prince and MVP Ryan Braun helped lead the Brewers to their first division title in twenty five years. Fielder earned MVP honors at the All-Star game and finished third behind teammate Braun in the MVP voting at the end of the season.

Rumors swirled as no one was really sure where Fielder would end up. Everyone, including the Brewers, knew the guy was going to get paid, but no one was sure whether he would get that desired long-term deal. His agent Scott Boras came through in the clutch with Detroit.

The Tigers 82 year old owner, Mike Ilitch, is obviously all-in with this move because his roster is stacked. It contains power-hitters Maguel Cabrera and Fielder as well as MVP/Cy Young Winner Justin Verlander.

Unlike during most of his tenure in Milwaukee, Fielder can finally feel he has a team built for a World Series run. It’s also nice for Milwaukee that they won’t have to face Fielder with him playing in the American League.

The only thing that could bother Fielder with his new team are the obvious comparisons to his father Cecil Fielder who played the most of his career (1990-96) in Detroit. But, at the same time,  it could be a good thing because Fielder spent a great deal of his childhood in the Motor City.

For those many critics who believe Fielder is a great deal in the short-term, but a huge risk in the long-term are also crazy. Fielder has a great work ethic and has done nothing during his young career that would make you think he won’t continue to get better. He’s also a decent defender, even though he’s given no credit for his consistent play at first base.

I foresee Fielder making many more All-Star games, hitting a ton of home-runs and winning at least one MVP award during his career. I also expect the Tigers to win at least one World Series in the next couple of years.

As a Brewers fan, that’s all the more reasons to root for Fielder, someone who transformed from that really big kid to a beast of a man in the Milwaukee uniform.

Good luck to the Prince in Detroit!

What do you think of Prince Fielder’s deal with the Detroit Tigers? Do you see him having a successful career like I do? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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