Free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers agreed Tuesday on a nine-year, $214 million contract that fills the AL Central champions’ need for a power hitter, a source said.
CBS first reported the agreement, which is subject to a physical.
Detroit boldly stepped up in the Fielder sweepstakes after the recent knee injury to star Victor Martinez. A week ago, the Tigers announced that the productive designated hitter could miss the entire season after tearing his left ACL.
The Tigers won their division by 15 games before losing in the AL Championship Series to Texas. Adding Fielder gives the Tigers two of the game’s premier sluggers, pairing him with Miguel Cabrera.
The move also keeps Fielder’s name in the Tigers’ family. His father, Cecil Fielder, became a big-league star when he returned to the majors from Japan and hit 51 home runs with Detroit in 1990. Cecil played with the Tigers into the 1996 season.
“He’s been there in Detroit most of his young life so I think he’ll be comfortable in that place,” Cecil Fielder said. “I know Mr. [Tigers own Mike] Ilitch is probably excited because he’s been wanting that kid since he was a little kid, so he finally got his wish.”
Several teams had shown interest this winter in Fielder, who had spent his entire career with Milwaukee. Fielder, 27, visited Texas, and the Washington Nationals also got involved in the discussions.
The slugger hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI last season. He is a three-time All-Star and was the MVP of last year’s event in Phoenix. Fielder averaged 40 homers and 113 RBI over the past five years.
Giants lock in Lincecum
Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants reached an 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 source said. Lincecum still must take a physical, which the Giants hope will happen early next week to complete the deal.
Lincecum had asked for a near-record $21.5 million in salary arbitration and had been offered $17 million by the club. He remains eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
The 27-year-old right-hander, the winning pitcher in the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas in 2010, earned $13.1 million last season. When the sides exchanged numbers last Tuesday, Lincecum’s request neared the record amount sought in arbitration. Houston pitcher Roger Clemens asked for $22 million in 2005.
San Francisco’s offer was the highest in arbitration history, topping the $14.25 million the New York Yankees proposed for shortstop Derek Jeter in 2001.
Indians count on pitcher
Indians manager Manny Acta says the pitcher who has been using the assumed name of Fausto Carmona is an important part of the rotation, and the team is doing what it can to speed up his arrival.
Acta said late Monday that the team is making the necessary moves to get Carmona to the United States for the coming season but also will be prepared to go without him.
Says Acta: “It doesn’t matter that he was a little inconsistent last year. Fausto is an important part of our rotation.”
He faces a judicial process in the Dominican Republic. He was released from jail Friday.
More deals set
All-Star catcher Russell Martin and the New York Yankees agreed to a $7.5 million, one-year contract. … Infielder Wilson Betemit and the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a two-year, $3.25 million contract. … Pitcher Brandon Morrow and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $21 million, three-year contract.… The Oakland Athletics and free-agent right-hander Bartolo Colon agreed to terms on a one-year contract.