The Tigers surprised the baseball world today, signing Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214-million contract that will become an albatross to the franchise by approximately 2016.

“Anytime you can get a talent like Prince, you go out and do it,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “Sure, his rotund frame might break down in three or four years, but I’ll be long retired by then anyway.”

Baseball insiders expect the Tigers will be forced to trade Fielder to a team like the Yankees or Red Sox by around 2016 and be forced to pay at least 75 percent of the $150 million remaining on his contract, but that didn’t seem to phase GM Dave Dombrowski.

“We want to win a World Series now,” said Dombrowski. “If that means we have to mortgage our team from 2013 to 2020 to get there, then so be it. I’ll be long fired by 2020 anyway.”