Originally Posted by doublem23
It basically depends on how you view Prince's career arc from here on out. He'll turn 30 years old during this upcoming season, that's historically pushing it for big men. If you think he will be able to buck historical trends and remain an elite bat for years, then yes, I agree, it's maybe not a great move. If he breaks down and the Tigers sold high, strengthening easily their weakest position on the field while simultaneously protecting their best overall player, then it is a great move.
Also probably depends on lot on how they use the approximately $100 million they just saved themselves.
When teams trade or sign players, the past is what analysts and fans look at, but the future is what teams are trading for. I don't think Fielder's stat line accurately reflects what he brought to the Tigers, but maybe the Tigers have a better idea of how his career will arc from here.
In the 2004 off-season, many couldn't understand the White Sox trading Lee for Podsednik. Maybe Fielder for Kinsler is similar. Still, since 2011, Fielder has done a better job of fulfilling his offensive promise than Kinsler has. The Tigers went to the World Series in 2012 and made it to the ALCS in 2013. It isn't like this is a team that can't put anything together, and I don't think they would have won the Central in 2012 or 2013 without Fielder. I'm not sure Cabrera will be the same hitter without Fielder hitting behind him. Cabrera hit well with Martinez behind him in 2011, but I don't think that next season Martinez will present the same protection that Fielder would have. (Any comparison between Fielder and Dunn showing they aren't much different is ridiculous, by the way.)
Maybe by March the Tigers will be able to put out a stronger lineup than they could in 2013. Maybe they won't have quite the lineup but will be stronger defensively. But in late November looking only at this single move, I'm surprised the Tigers seem to be changing the dynamics of their lineup so dramatically.