Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transaction Reaction: Prince Fielder

The Detroit Tigers paid $214 million for 9 years of mash potential and androgyny. I tried to pay an artist for a rendering of Prince wearing a Tigers uniform, but it was hard to make out with all of the purple sequins and whatnot.... so I asked the artist to stop. All that to say, I paid a guy $17 to be the artist who was formerly going to draw Prince.
  • This signing seems like a great story, right? Prince Fielder returns to Detroit where his father Cecil played, and where he grew up taking batting practice as a young boy. Quite a fairy tale. Here's the real story....all that happened, AND THEN his dad started gambling and didn't stop until he had run through his entire career's major league earnings and started stealing from Prince later in life. The two are not on speaking terms, so it strikes me as odd that Prince would want to draw these comparisons. However, I can think of 214 million reasons he might bury the hatchet and embrace his father's legacy in Detroit.
  • At least from the Tiger's perspective it makes sense, right? Nope. In baseball, the rosters have only enough room for MAYBE two overweight players on each team, assuming they are both good enough to play regularly. The Detroit Tigers already have THREE other fatties under team control for two years or more, and all of them are good enough to play everyday. Victor Martinez is a DH who is injured this year, but will be paid handsomely for 2012 and 2013 when he comes back healthy. Alex Avila is a good young player, but one that is big enough that he can only play catcher or DH. Miguel Cabrera is notorious for his incredible performance and his weight. He can only reasonably play first. (Breaking news: The Tigers have just said Miguel Cabrera will be moved to third base to make room for Prince. Just for context, Miguel was very bad at first base....which is approximately 50 times easier and less athletic than third base.)
  • So, it appears that the Tigers have dramatically added to their offense by subtracting from their defense in TWO different spots (1st base and 3rd base, because Prince is even worse than Cabrera!) Their reward for this maneuver is a bill for $214 million dollars, and a very pissed off Justin Verlander. This honestly might end up being the worst defensive infield ever created.
  • Lastly, if the Tigers are expecting Prince to play baseball similar to how his father used to, wouldn't they pay attention to how his father aged? Cecil was a beast until age 32 when he hit 39 home runs, and then his production fell off a cliff. He was so terrible that he was out of baseball completely by age 34. Fangraphs ran an article in October regarding how "heavy" players age. Prince is 27 now, and the results of the article definitely do not support a 9-year deal. According to the Fangraphs analysis, heavy players peak at age 23 or 24 and decline quickly. By the age of 31-32, most heavy sluggers have lost more than 30% of their production.... At the age of 33, Prince will still have 4 years left on his deal and the Tigers will owe him approximately $100 million dollars. Do you know how many Raspberry Berets that could buy???? This is an exciting deal for Tigers fans for 2012....but let's check back with them in 2017.

14 comments:

  1. you my friend dont know shit about the players you just mentiond, or the facts your using to explain you dumbass rant

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  2. Anybody else think it's strange how eerily appropriate some of the "Purple Rain" lyrics are to Prince's free agency?

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  3. I think this was fairly well written. It didn't have much substance but nothing was really incorrect in the writing. I think you don't know what YOU are talking about Nets.

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  4. Pretty negative outlook. Your making way too many assumptions though! If you take Cecil as an accurate predictor, that means 5-6 years of elite performance. 3-4 years of assumed poor performance or perhaps we see Jim Thome #'s(another larger player). Darell Evans hit 40jacks as a 41 year old beer belly first sacker, and guys like John Kruk( makes Prince look like an Adonis)and Willie Stargell peaked at 28-32. Just because Bill James predicts it, does not make it gospel.

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    1. Prince does not look like an Adonis compared to John Kruk(if anything it's the other way around). Maybe Kruk now(at 50), but not when Kruk was an active player. If you actually look at old video and/or pics of Kruk, you'll see that Prince is significantly bigger.

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  5. Gotta say, as a Brewers fan who has watched Prince for a long time...he's more athletic than you'd think for his body size. He does have 2 career inside-the-park home runs...

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  6. That's true, but then so was Carlos Lee at that age. In fact, at 36(the age Prince will be at the end of his 9 year contract) Lee is still more athletic than you'd think for a guy his body size(which is a little slimmer than Prince), but that doesn't change the fact that his production drastically declined beginning with his age 34 season(and a smaller decline the previous year). Although, if Prince follows a similar pattern to Lee he won't have a significant decline until the 7th year of his contract and could have his best years still ahead of him(Lee's 3 best years were '06-08 aka his age 30-32 seasons).

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  7. Forgot to mention his road/home splits and the fact hes Fmovig to a bigger park. I mean 9 years? Come on i would have offered 5 for 150 keeping his annual average high but for 4 less years. And, nets, youre saying he doesnt know what hes talking about? Mcab played 3rd like 4 years ago and was terrible then, now hes going to get better? STFU bc you have no clue what youre talking about, idiot

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  8. Did you watch the games or just a stat guru. Cabrera was not "very bad" at first. If anything his biggest weakness was ranging too far off the bag on plays the 2nd baseman should take. Whatever problem the Tiger infield defense posed last year it wasn't Cabrera.

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    1. A little bit of both actually. I watch as many games as I can on mlb.tv. I usually lean toward stats when there is a large discrepancy, but both are important. However, Cabrera's defense was an easy topic for me because he was "very bad" by both the eye test and various statistical measures. I have watched him play regularly....and I've also watched other first baseman around the league. He's "very bad" and I stand by my opinion. That being said, it sounds like you've seen him a bunch as well and think differently....so maybe we have different ideas/preferences on how the position should be played. It makes for great discussion if nothing else....

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  9. What a bunch of crap. You know nothing. Avila and Victor are fat? You sound extremely prejudiced against thick boned people.

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    1. My apologies. Some of it is hyperbole, and meant to be a bit tongue and cheek as well. More than poking fun at anyone's weight, the piece was meant to highlight the logistical difficulties this signing will create for Detroit's roster. For that reason, it seemed like a curious move. However, you can't argue with the offense they added....and it's certainly not my money so I can't complain too much... As anonymous 3:36 mentioned above, it will also bear watching to see how Prince fairs in a bigger park. There might be some regression, but Prince is still a monster.

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  10. Completely agree. If the tigers dont win the world series in the next couple years they will regret this big time.

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  11. I grew up a huge Brooks Robinson fan. I appreciate good defense. As life brought me to the west coast for work I settled in LA and became a Dodgers ticket holder. My faith in the importance of defense started to fade when I saw the Dodgers win with Pedro Guerrero at third and then Steve Sax and Pedro in the same infield and then the same side of the infield. Later I moved to Chicago, and watched Shawn Dunston windup to throw to first, and the beloved Ryne Sandberg have the range of an old man in a walker. As my life took further east, I settled in Ferndale, Pa. I watched Bobby Bonilla butcher 3b, my belief in great defense was shattered. Defense is overrated, great pitching and hitting is far more important.

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