The Detroit Tigers agreed to trade slugger Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday night.
The particulars of the deal are being finalized. The Tigers are expected to offset $30 million of Fielder’s contract. As a free agent two years ago, Fielder signed with the Tigers for $214 million over nine years, the fifth-largest contract in baseball history. Seven years and $168 million remain on that contract. In essence, the Rangers will pay Fielder $138 million over seven years, or about $19.7 million per season.
He'd take over at first base and bat in the middle of the lineup for the Rangers, who last winter lost Josh Hamilton to free agency and this winter could lose Nelson Cruz. Once an offensive force, the Rangers were just above average in 2013.
The Tigers' payroll had risen to nearly $150 million, and as a result they'd considered moving several players – Fielder and AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer among them. Scherzer will be a free agent after the 2014 season and Miguel Cabrera, their back-to-back AL MVP, can be a free agent after the 2015 season. If they were to re-sign both, they’d have to offload some contract, and Fielder’s was easily the largest.
Cabrera, a below-average defender who moved to third base when Fielder was signed, presumably would return to first base. Nick Castellanos, a 21-year-old former first-round pick who played 11 games in the big leagues last season, is most likely to take over at third base.
Kinsler, 31, is a three-time All-Star who will fill a hole at second for the Tigers. He hit 32 home runs in 2011 and has 32 since. He is under contract for four more years, over which he is guaranteed $62 million. On the rise just two years ago, when they reached – and lost in – the World Series in consecutive Octobers, the Rangers twice have finished behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West. They lost in the wild-card game two seasons ago and in a tie-breaking Game 163 last season.
The Tigers were believed to be players for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano. Instead, they get Kinsler, which could lead to speculation that the Rangers may jump in on Cano. More likely, they have cleared a position for Jurickson Profar, the 20-year-old infielder and top prospect who batted .234 in 85 games for them last season.
While Fielder is one of the most prolific home run hitters in the game, he tailed off to 25 – and a .279 batting average – last season in Detroit. He followed that by batting .225 with no home runs and no RBIs in 11 postseason games.
In the aftermath of the ALCS, which the Tigers lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games, Fielder stirred the ire of many in Detroit with comments that suggested he was not devastated by his performance or the result.
"It’s not really tough for me," Fielder said at the time. "It's over. I’ve got kids to take care of. I’ve got things I’ve got to take care of. For me, it’s over, bro."
The trade will fuel speculation the Tigers, two years after committing to the massive contract, feared that Fielder’s body would not hold up for the length of the contract. Fielder has missed one game in the past five years, however, and that durability was cited often following the signing.
The trade was first reported by CBSSports.com.
See Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield hug it out, Dennis Rodman fly to North Korea, Brett Favre finally walk away, and Craig Sager decide to change his wardrobe
(New York, NY) -- Alex Rodriguez says he is through with his arbitration hearing. The New York Yankees third baseman walked out of today's session, upset that the arbitrator didn't force Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to testify. "A-Rod" issued a statement saying he is done participating, calling it a farce and saying the absurdity and injustice just became too much. Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension for his alleged performance-enhancing drug ties to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in South Florida.
(NEWSER) – Unemployment has been added to injury for a Buffalo Bills fan who put himself and another fan in the hospital with a reckless stunt at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. In an incident that became a viral video, a fan identified as Rob Hopkins slid down a safety railing on the upper deck, only to lose his balance and fall 30 feet into the crowd. Hopkins won't be allowed back into the stadium, the team says, and the ad agency he worked for yesterday announced he is no longer an employee, reports the New York Daily News. Both injured men have now been released from the hospital.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was intercepted as the game ended, but it looked like tight end Rob Gronkowski got held by Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly with a flag initially thrown before referee Clete Bakeman waved off the flag after determining that the pass was underthrown and wasn't catchable by Gronkowski.
"So it was determined at that point in time that when the primary contact occurred on the tight end that the ball, in essence, was coming in underthrown and in essence it was [immediately] at that point intercepted at the front end of the end zone," Blakeman told a pool reporter. "So there was a determination that, in essence, uncatchability, that the ball was intercepted at or about the same time the primary contact against the receiver occurred."
Added Gronkowski: "It just wasn't completed, and there was no flag. "There was a flag, but it got called back. I don't even know why they threw it, and there's just no excuse. I'm not trying to be here to make excuses; [the Panthers are] a good football team, they scored more points than us and they beat us straight up."
Brady said the Patriots shouldn't have been in that position to need to score on the final play of the game.
"I wish it wouldn't come down to that," Brady said. "I think there are plenty of plays we could have made. But it did, and they are going to make a call or they are not going to make a call. We can play better than that."
Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade is no stranger to the glamorous lifestyle of a big star. He's a regular at fashion and awards shows, dates a famous actress in Gabrielle Union, and generally seems to enjoy presenting himself as a celebrity, not just a generationally important basketball player.
Wade has also ventured into other areas of media, particularly with his 2012 book "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball," a memoir about his life as a single father to his two sons. Now, Wade has sold a sitcom to FOX based on the book.From Brian Windhorst for ESPN.com:
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has sold a sitcom to Fox based on his life as an NBA star and single father to two boys.
The show, which is currently in development, will be called "Three the Hard Way." It will feature a character named Daryl Wade, who is an NBA superstar responsible for raising his two sons as a single parent.
The show is described as Wade and "his entourage of eccentric friends, find themselves parenting by committee, when he gets full custody of his two young sons. It's a recipe made for disaster, but no matter how misinformed, misguided, or unfit Team Wade may be, they have a trump card that can't lose. It's called love." [...]
"I will be involved, very involved ... to the point where it has enough of what I would like to see from my story. Obviously it's a comedy, but there will be some things you want to let loose." [...]
"I think they'll be able to pull the comedy out of the dark moments," Wade said. "That was one thing I kept saying before I sold my story. I want to be able to bring some light into the dark times. I always take off from "The Cosby Show" kind of thing. They always told a lesson at the end of the day. There's always a story, and comedy in it as well."
Here's hoping that supporting characters to Daryl Wade include teammates LeBaron James and Chuck Bosh, Miami Burn head coach Edward Spoelstra, and girlfriend Gloria Union.
Based on the description, it sounds as if "Three the Hard Way" might be a multi-camera family comedy rather than the hipper, single-cam style that dominates what we consider top-level TV comedy in this era. Regardless, it appears to be a much different concept than "Survivor's Remorse," the series LeBron James has in development at Starz. That series, which appears to have more than a little in common with NBA favorite "Entourage," will presumably use the leeway of premium cable to its advantage and opt for somewhat more adult material. Wade's show, one the other hand, is pretty clearly for the whole family.
As with any story about TV series, it's important to remember that both projects still have a very long way to go before we see them on our screens. They must get pilot orders, have those pilots filmed, impress executives enough to get series orders, etc. For all we know, both Wade and James will fail to get their shows to series. And then they'll just have to settle for cameos in the "Entourage" movie.