Tigers trade Doug Fister to Washington Nationals for package of players
Even before last season, when they couldn’t find a trade matchup, the Detroit Tigers have had a surplus of starting pitchers.
It was assumed that Rick Porcello would be the odd man out, although Max Scherzer was a popular choice, given the finances of a Scott Boras client entering his walk year.
Doug Fister was the one to get moved, though, as the Tigers traded the lanky right-hander to the Washington Nationals on Monday. [UPDATED STORY HERE.]
In return, the Tigers got Steve Lombardozzi — a utility infielder/outfielder — left-handed reliever Ian Kroll, and Robbie Ray, the No. 5 prospect in the Nationals system.
“We are excited to be adding three solid players to the organization,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a news release. “Robbie is a premium pitching prospect, Ian adds a quality left-handed young arm for the bullpen and Steve provides our ballclub with versatility in several roles as a switch-hitting utility-man. This affords us the opportunity to move the left-handed arm of Drew Smyly into the starting rotation where we are confident he will do well. We would like to thank Doug for everything he has done for the Tigers organization. He is an exceptional player and individual and we wish him all the best going forward.”
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation was first with the story.
But it’s been clear the Tigers have been trying to move one or another of their pitchers, to add needed pieces in other areas.
“I don’t know if all the decisions we’ll make are final, because we have some pieces we need to fit together,” Dombrowski said at new manager Brad Ausmus’ introductory press conference. “We do have six starters at this point — and people are aware of that.”
There had been hints that the Tigers might have bidders for Porcello or Scherzer, but Fister, who won’t reach free agency until after the 2015 season, might have been the one with the most tradability.
Fister won a career-high 14 games (14-9) in 2013, with a career-high 159 strikeouts, but his WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched, 1.308) and ERA (3.67) were either the highest or second-highest of his career.