That’s how many hot-and-ready pizzas Little Caesars would have to sell to bring in enough money to pay new Tigers slugger Prince Fielder’s $214 million contract.
Let that sink in for just a minute. That should put into perspective just how much money that is, if the mere figure somehow didn’t already impress you. So don’t be surprised if the Tigers are done — we mean it this time! — adding significant pieces this winter.
GM Dave Dombrowski basically said as much today on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, when discussing the Tigers’ fifth-starter vacancy.
“I don’t think we’ll get Roy Oswalt, no,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a potential.”
Oswalt was rumored to be on the Tigers’ radar, but that was before Fielder cashed in following Victor Martinez’s season-ending ACL injury. Oswalt, a three-time All-Star, likely is headed to the Rangers, or maybe even the Cardinals or Red Sox.
If the Tigers aren’t looking much at Oswalt, that means they’re probably not seriously considering former Tiger Edwin Jackson, either. (That said, let’s remember Jackson is a Scott Boras client, and as we’ve learned over the years, don’t rule out Ilitch signing a Boras guy.)
Dombrowski, in the radio interview, sounded plenty content with going to spring training with the hope one of the club’s young arms will win the job. Top prospect Jacob Turner is the early favorite to do so, but Drew Smyly, Adam Wilk, Andy Oliver and Duane Below could be in the mix.
Dombrowski was particularly chatty about Smyly, 22, a left-handed drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 126 innings last season, his first as a professional. He started 2011 at Single A and worked his way up to Double A.
“He’s sort of come up very quickly,” Dombrowski said. “A lot of people think he’s ready to pitch here right now.”
The Tigers front-office chief, however, stopped short of saying the Tigers wouldn’t add another starter before Opening Day — though if they do that, it’ll likely be a non-roster invitee.
Minor league deals should pick up soon; the free-agent market remains flooded with experienced major leaguers who can’t find work. Outfielder Juan Pierre, who two years ago stole 68 bases, today signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.