When the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder and decided to move Miguel Cabrera to third base, they were taking a chance. Yes, their offense had become even more formidable, but their defense looked bad enough to potentially offset any gains their new bat provided. The last time Cabrera had played third base for a full season, in 2007 with the Marlins, he cost his team 19 runs with his poor defense (according to defensive runs saved), which is an approximate difference of two wins compared with an average defender over a full season. Fielder, meanwhile, had been in the bottom three among first basemen in DRS in five of the previous six seasons.
Well, the decision certainly has paid off. Neither player was as bad defensively as feared this season, and now the Tigers have a chance to win their first World Series in more than a quarter-century. Their defense hasn't hurt them so far in October, and there's a good chance it won't in the World Series, either.