We don't know all the details of Prince Fielder's nine-year contract with Detroit -- specifically, if there's an option for him to opt out at any point -- but there are a few truths about the deal that apply to the White Sox.
1. Hit the ball to third base: The general consensus seems to be that Jim Leyland will have to move Miguel Cabrera to third base to accommodate Fielder. This is a good thing. Cabrera was the Marlins' everyday third baseman in 2006 and 2007 and also picked up some innings there in 2003, 2005 and 2008. Over those 3,273 23 innings spent at the hot corner, Cabrera has a -30 DRS and -11 UZR, so he wasn't a very good third baseman before he bulked up. Chances are he'll be a defensive liability, even moreso than he was at first base.
2. That's not a fun middle: While Detroit may not have much hitting in front of the middle of their lineup (Austin Jackson? A regression-prone Jhonny Peralta? Ramon Santiago?)...my god, that middle of the lineup is just scary. Cabrera and Fielder are in their primes, and even if Alex Avila regresses, he'll probably be an above-average bat. Brennan Boesch is a solid bat as well, so 3-6 Detroit is set. If Delmon Young can re-capture his 2010 form and Peralta doesn't regress (two big ifs), this lineup will be nightmarish.
3. This sets Detroit up for long-term division domination...probably: The Tigers were the division favorites before and after the injury to Victor Martinez, and now, they're even bigger favorites with Fielder. Looking forward, they'll get Martinez back for 2013 and 2014 and they have a pitching staff that's under control for the next few years. But weird things happen -- remember when Detroit traded for Cabrera and was supposed to be unstoppable in 2008? The Tigers finished last that year with a 74-88 record. it was a one-year blip, sure, but Detroit won't win nine consecutive division titles.
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.