ESPN saw this trade coming three years in advance, but Wednesday night's swap of 29-year-old Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder with Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was a shock to most of the baseball world. In addition to nabbing Fielder to inject power back into their lineup to replace the void left behind by Josh Hamilton, the Rangers also received $30 million in cash.
The Tigers new manager, Brad Ausmus, a former catcher who spent most of his career staring down the barrel at aces tossing 100 mph heat in his direction. His emphasis appears to emphasis pitching and hitting for average over batting power.
The criticism of Fielder in Detroit was his penchant for striking out and his declining home run shots since signing with Detroit in 2011. The key word is home runs, not Fielder's power. In the 2013 postseason, Fielder was drowning beneath the Mendoza Line. However, in Texas' hitter-friendly park, Fielder will likely see his home run numbers, batting average and RBI production drastically increase. Fielder should be swinging his axe again next spring in Texas, but let's not overlook the Tigers.
Their end of the equation has been vastly overlooked. With Fielder's contract on Texas' payroll instead of their own, re-signing 2013 AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to a new contract becomes much easier. So who, won and who loses this trade in the long run and short-term?