The Detroit Tigers are giving ex-Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder a nine-year contract reportedly worth $214 million.
The longer first baseman Prince Fielder went into the offseason without a free-agent deal, the more some people figured he wouldn’t get the payday he was seeking.
Agent Scott Boras, as he has done so often, got a team to break the bank for an elite client Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers gave Fielder a nine-year contract reportedly worth $214 million.
That is why the Milwaukee Brewers didn’t have much of a chance to keep their 27-year-old slugger, who averaged 40 home runs over the past five seasons. The Brewers realized all it would take was one team to give Boras/Fielder what they wanted, and the Tigers seemingly came out of nowhere to be that team after losing designated hitter Victor Martinez to a severe knee injury.
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“Scott said from Day One he wanted $200 million,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “When you see this kind of number, we couldn’t get involved in that.”
The Tigers made a move nearly as stunning as the 10-year, $240 million contract the Los Angeles Angels gave St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols earlier in the offseason. Fielder will play for the team that employed his father, Cecil, though the two have been estranged for years.
As recently as last week, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said a long-term deal with Fielder was “probably not a good fit.” The team did not announce the agreement because it is contingent on Fielder, listed at 5 feet 11 and 275 pounds, passing a physical exam.
Detroit has an experienced slugger at first base, Miguel Cabrera, but had no replacement at DH for Martinez.
The Tigers’ options include alternating Cabrera and Fielder at first base/DH or moving Cabrera back to his original position at third base.
When Cecil Fielder played for the Tigers, he was one of the game’s feared sluggers. In 1990 and 1991, “Big Daddy” led the American League with 51 homers and 132 runs batted in and 44 homers and 133 RBI, respectively.
Cecil often took his son to Tiger Stadium during his playing days in Detroit, and people still talk about 12-year-old Prince hitting balls out in batting practice there.
Cecil Fielder told MLB Network channel on SiriusXM Radio: “He’s going to come full circle. He was there in Detroit most of his young life, so I think he’ll be comfortable in that place. … I know (Tigers owner Mike Ilitch) is probably excited because he has been wanting this kid since he was a little kid.”
agrees to 2-year deal
SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, and the San Francisco Giants reached oral agreement on a two-year contract worth $40.5 million.
The deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $18 million this year and $22 million in 2013, a person familiar with the agreement said, speaking on condition of anonymity because terms were not announced.
Ex-Washington Huskies standout Lincecum still must take a physical to complete the deal.
Lincecum, 27, had asked for $21.5 million in salary arbitration and had been offered a record $17 million by the Giants. He remains eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
Lincecum earned $13.1 million last season, when he finished a two-year deal worth $23.2 million.
San Francisco is likely to have a payroll of about $130 million.
Toronto avoid arbitration
TORONTO — Pitcher Brandon Morrow and Toronto have agreed to a $21 million, three-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.
Morrow, 27, gets $4 million this year and $8 million in each of the following two seasons. The Blue Jays have a $10 million option for 2015, with a $1 million buyout.
Morrow was 11-11 last season with a 4.72 earned-run average. He pitched for the Mariners from 2007 to 2009, going 8-12 with a 3.96 ERA.
• An emotional Jorge Posada, 40, announced his retirement at Yankee Stadium. The five-time All-Star catcher played all 17 of his seasons in New York and helped the Yankees win five World Series titles.
• Tony La Russa will become the second retired manager to lead an All-Star team — joining Hall of Famer John McGraw, who did it in 1933.
La Russa, 67, concluded a 16-season run in St. Louis with the Cardinals’ second World Series title in six years in October. He will manage the National League in the July 10 All-Star Game in Kansas City.