Posted tagged ‘Doug Fister’

Tigers Trade Doug Fister to Nationals

December 3, 2013

This evening the Detroit Tigers traded starter Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for Steve Lombardozzi, Robbie Ray, and Ian Krol. The Tigers continue their busy off-season but I’m not so sure I’m a fan of this deal.

Doug Fister is a very sold #2-#3 pitcher. From 2010 through 2013 he has posted fWAR’s of 2.6, 5.2, 3.5, and 4.6. He has consistently posted a mid 3’s FIP and has excellent control. While he may not strike a lot of batters out, he has a great walk rate and ground ball rate, so he doesn’t give up many home runs. The result of walking few batters and allowing few long balls means he’s effective at not giving up runs. He will be turning 30 in 2014 and is cost-controlled through the 2015 season.

Steam projects Fister to have a 3.3 fWAR in 2014. At $5mil a win, that’s $16.5mil in value. If he is a 3 WAR pitcher in 2015 at $5.25mil a win, that’s $15.75mil in value for a two year total of $32.25mil. Fister made $4mil in 2013 after his season arbitration eligible season. Using the 40/60/80 rule we can expect Fister to make $9.9mil in 2014 and $12.6mil in 2015. However, I don’t think that’s realistic. One reason being that his salary increase from 2013 to 2014 would be over a 100% increase. I think we can more reasonably look at a $6.5mil contract for 2014 and a $9-$11mil contract in 2015. As a result, his net value for 2014-2015 is an estimated $16mil.

Steve Lombardozzi will be cost-controlled for the next four years. He is a second baseman but can be used in the utility role for Detroit between second, short, third, and the corner outfield. While he has a great minor league track record, he has struggled mightily in his first two seasons at Washington. His above average BB rate in the minors has fallen to 3.7% through 700+ PA leading to a career wOBA of .281. Ouch. Now, he may still have potential yet because he is young and has a minor league track record. But starting in 2015 he will have to be paid a few million dollars to produce at replacement level production.

The Tigers will also be getting relievers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray. Now, Ray still is a starting pitcher. But through three minor league seasons he has struggled with walks and home runs, which points to a career as a future reliever if he can’t fix his problems. Ian Krol is a former starter himself before the Nationals converted him to a reliever. He is a lefty which is valuable out of the pen and had a decent rookie season. The Tigers have been trying to fix their pen for a couple seasons now so one can see where they are coming from in this trade.

I just don’t think you trade a great starting pitcher for your utility guy and a couple relievers. The Tigers don’t have any ready replacement for Fister in the rotation and his production at the ML level over the next two seasons will be greater than anyone they are getting back in the trade. As a team that is looking to win it all NOW I don’t see how the team helps them NOW.

As for Washington, they get a solid starter for their backup second baseman and utility player and some relievers. I like it from their perspective. They have a good rotation as it is and the addition of Fister will help separate them in a relatively weak division (outside of Atlanta). I don’t think the package Washington is giving up is worth the $16mil of value they will be getting from Fister.



Tigers get Doug Fister, David Pauley

July 30, 2011

In return for the pair of pitchers, Detroit will send Casper Wells, Francisco Martinez, and Charlie Furbush.

Doug Fister is 27, with four more years of team control. Pauley is an okay relief pitcher. For the next 4.2 years of Fister, I figure he’ll produce about 15 WAR. That should be worth about $76.5mil. However, next year he will probably sign a deal worth about 450K and from there should make about $3mil, $4.8mil, and $8.6mil in arbitration. That’s a total of $16.9mil, meaning he alone is a value surplus of $59.6mil. However, my WAR estimates could be way too radical. In his first full season, Fister posted a 2.9 fWAR and he figures to post a 4.0+ fWAR in 2011. Using that, I predicted a 3 WAR in 2012, 3.5 WAR in 2013, 4.0 WAR in 2014, and 3.5 WAR in 2015. That seems legitimate,  but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him post much lower totals. Leaving Safeco will hurt, but he will be going to another pitchers park in Comerica.

Now, neither Martinez, Wells, or Furbush were top ten prospects in the Tigers organization. Fursbush looks like he could be a mediocre arm either as a backend starter or reliever and Wells is an older prospect who can hit, but doesn’t have a high ceiling. Martinez is a young prospect, but one who doesn’t look like he can hit and a like and is just a filler.

I could get into the values of the prospects, but all I know is that it’s not close to Fister’s value. I think this is a steal for Detroit, who really needs a SP and they got him without giving up a big name prospect who they could still use to acquire Ubaldo Jiminez or Hideki Kuroda. Meanwhile, I think the Mariners are big time losers. Wells can hit a little, but he’s not going to set the world on fire. I know Seattle needs prospects and offense, and pitching is strength, but they could have done much better with Fister. I mean, he’s a good, young, cheap pitcher. So even trading him in the first place is iffy, but to get such a bad return is a big question mark to me.

There might be prospects going to Seattle in the deal, but for now, it’s a bad trade for them. Big win for Detroit.