It was announced last night, December 2, 2013, that the Detroit Tigers had traded SP Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals. When a team has six starting pitchers trading one away to fill other holes in the roster is a necessity. However, it does not seem like the Tigers got one of the pieces they needed to help fill the holes in their roster. Before we get to that a look at the trade details:
- The Nationals- get Doug Fister
- The Tigers- get RP Ian Krol, U Steve Lombardozzi, and LHP Robbie Ray (prospect)
First and foremost, much like the Prince Fielder deal, this looks to be more of a salary dump than the trading of an asset to fill a deficiency in the roster. It appeared that the Tigers would trade one of their starters for a closer, or a left fielder, of a left handed power bat. Instead they have dealt a very good starting pitcher for a bullpen specialist, a utility player, and a pitching prospect.
On top of that it would seem that some of these moves are running contradictory to each other. The Tigers resigned lefty reliever Phil Coke to a non guaranteed deal and also resigned Don Kelly. It would seem their roles, and value to the Tigers, isn't necessary with this trade. Of course with Drew Smyly leaving the pen to be the fifth starter maybe Krol takes on that role in the Tigers bullpen.
Lombardozzi is really the replacement for Ramon Santiago. Having two guys in Lombardozzi and Kelly that can play multiple positions in the outfield and infield is a nice thing to have, but this is a club that still needs a closer and an everyday left fielder. If this move opened up enough payroll to get something done with those two spots then it will be viewed as a success.
However with the Nationals getting Fister to add to their rotation, a guy who went 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA and 353 strike outs in two and a half seasons in Detroit, it looks like they are clear winners. With that being said Fister was not as sharp as he could be in 2013 and the Tigers believe that Rick Porcello has more upside. Now only time will tell, and this trade will forever be linked to what the Tigers do next.