On the same day that Moneyball was nominated for 6 Oscars, the last big name free agent in this year’s class landed with a 9 year, $214M deal. Prince Fielder has replaced the void in the Detroit Tigers lineup left by the injured Victor Martinez. Detroit having Miguel Cabrera and Prince as their 3&4 hitters probably gives them the best one-two punch in the league. If V-Mart returns prior to the end of the season (and some analysts think that’s a real possibility), you’re not going to want to mess with this team in October. If you caught my post about the AL Central (yes, all 4 of you), then you know this move won’t change how the Central will shake out. It will, however, impact the post-season in a big way. I know the Cardinals were the “team of destiny” last season, but if this move took place in 2011, it would have been the Tigers hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy last fall. Sorry David Freese, I still love you.
The other major story of the day was Jorge Posada formally announcing his retirement. He broke the news to the public last week, and as a Yankee fan, I’m glad he decided to hang it up. It would’ve been a shame to see him as a DH batting .188 in an Orioles uniform for the last year of his career. Jorge was a leader and a champion, serving the Yanks for 17 seasons. His 1829 games rank 8th all-time for the Bombers, and he ranks within the top 10 Yankees of all time in doubles, homers, extra base hits, walks, and total bases. Pretty impressive for any club, but something very special when you’re in the same group as Ruth, Mantle & DiMaggio. Is he a hall of famer? I’d like to think so. If you count post-season performance (and I think you have to), he’ll eventually make it. I also think the process to get in to the HoF is a joke, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he never makes it. That’ll be a rage-filled blog post for a different day.
Coming up next, my off-season thoughts on the NL East.