Detroit's out-of-nowhere signing of Prince Fielder last week, for the rest of this decade, will place him at first and shift Tigers' slugging first baseman Miguel Cabrera to third. Tigers' manager Jim Leyland didn't hesitate to acknowledge there was no other plan (via MLB.com).
"Miguel Cabrera is going to play third base, let's make that perfectly clear today," Leyland said.
This signing puts the Tigers in excellent position to have other teams chasing them from behind early on this season, and potentially for years to come. Detroit has some powerful sticks, a lineup riddled with long-range weapons, making the Tigers a team that most AL pitchers would rather miss in the rotation.
The addition of Fielder adds another yard-driver to compliment the already difficult presence of Cabrera. With the lineup that Leyland spoke about last week, American League pitchers won't find themselves comfortable trying to get around those two big cats (via MLB.com).
While Cabrera and Fielder are plenty force all by themselves, mix in Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young, two young power hitters in their own right to bookend the sluggers, and retreat might be the only escape. With a healthy Boesch and Young the Tigers have big, towering figures at all corners of the field.
Can the Tigers offensive assets outweigh their defensive liabilities at the four corners?