The Detroit Tigers swooped in and surprised the baseball world Tuesday by reportedly signing Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million deal. It’s the best piece of news the Mets have gotten since, uh, well, in a long time.
That’s because the smart money was on Fielder joining the Nationals, which would have sunk the Mets even deeper into last place in the National League East. Imagine Fielder joining a lineup that already includes Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse (who would change positions), Jayson Werth (who might actually be good with Fielder protecting him) and eventually, Bryce Harper. Add in all of their young pitching and Washington could really go places. They are already expected to be very good in 2012; Prince Fielder would have made them that much better.
As it stands now, most prognosticators are forecasting a fifth place finish for the Mets. I’m not so sure. I am not sold on the Marlins — they always seem to be a dysfunctional team, and I’m not convinced all the off-season spending and new manager Ozzie Guillen will change that. The Nationals still have some holes. As for the Phillies and Braves, I just hate them.
The Mets may not be as awful as everybody is predicting. That is easy to say now, when there are still more than two months before the first pitch is thrown. Mets fans are always optimistic at this time of the year. Check back with us in a few months.