With the signing of Prince Fielder on Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit Tigers have quickly become once again the favorites in the American League Central. After losing top of the line player Victor Martinez to injury, the Tigers solidified their lineup by bringing in their new masher. This sets up a problem for both Kansas City Royals of present and of future.
The Royals will have to face Fielder 18 times this season. The one good thing about having to face such a powerful first basemen is the fact that his name does not have anything to do with his game. The Tigers will be worse defensively withe him in the field but like others players in the Major Leagues he makes up for it at the plate and then some.
The bigger problem that the Royals face is the fact that now we have to sit and watch the Detroit Tigers spend gobs of money over the next ten years. The highest four contracts for the Tigers in 2012 will add up to 78 million dollars while the Royals only will be around 47 million depending if or when the Alex Gordon extension happens. The problem with the numbers being that high across the division is because the Royals have expressed many times that even at a high point they will not be able to exceed a 75 million dollar payroll. Now what is the problem here? If the Royals begin to win over the next five years, just speculation, then they will have to start spending money. The young talent that is presently playing and the more to come will have to start making money.
The top four contracts for the Detroit Tigers are between Prince Fielder, first base and designated hitter, Justin Verlander, ace, Miguel Cabrera, third base, first base and designated hitter, and Victor Martinez,catcher and first base. Now compare those to similar players that the Royals will presumably have to pay in the future. Eric Hosmer, first base, with all of the hype and the high ceiling of this young player the Royals will be spending a lot of money to not let this one get away. A number one starter, whether that comes from in house or they go find one in free agency, is probably where, if they spend money in the near future, they will have to go first. Mike Moustakas, all of the reports say that the way “Moose” played last year is the same way he started at every level and that he will pick up his game once comfortable. This we saw a little bit of at the end of the 2011 season. Finally, Salvador Perez, the surprise call up of the 2011 season, showed that he may have the game to be an elite catcher for a long time in the Major Leagues. With his defense alone he will be a reliable starting catcher but with the amount of knowledge at the plate that he showed he will make big dollars in the future.
These four contracts alone do not even include the amounts that will have to be paid to Billy Butler, if he is even a Royal of the future, and the other starters in the rotation. The outfield that seems to be able to come together and put forth great season of productivity in the field. The four contracts at the top will presumably take up at least 55-60 million dollars and then the holes have to filled in form their.
The Tigers have put a new pressure on teams in the division. The one hurting the most from the signing of Prince Fielder is the Kansas City Royals. They Royals will have to reevaluate how and when they are going to become grown-ups and spend the money that is necessary and needed to have a perennial contender not only for the division but also for a world championship.