When Prince Fielder was traded to the Texas Rangers, it was assumed that one of the big reasons was to move slugger Miguel Cabrera back to first base. That assumption was confirmed by Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski on Wednesday.
“Dombrowski: “We’re looking at Nick Castellanos as our third baseman. Miguel Cabrera is going to first base for us.” So that’s now set,” Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck tweeted.
The fact is first base is a position that will not require Cabrera to be stellar on defense, especially since he will not see as many heaters fly his way. More importantly, because first base is a less demanding position defensively, the American League MVP will not have as much strain on his body. That means less injuries and more time in the lineup crushing home runs.
Another reason Detroit moved Cabrera to first base is so top prospect Nick Castellanos will be moved from left field back to his more natural position at third base. Castellanos is capable of playing multiple positions but he has the most experience at third.
The fact that the 21-year-old has plenty of potential at the plate and in the field was one of the big reasons the Tigers felt comfortable trading Fielder. For that reason, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he will suit up at third base for many years to come.
The Tigers have greatly improved the infield defense with just one trade, which could certainly go a long ways for the team clinching a World Series berth in 2014.