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Nationals acquire Doug Fister from Tigers

Dec 2, 2013, 8:31 PM EDT

doug fister getty Getty Images

UPDATE: It’s done. The Nationals just announced that prospect left-hander Robbie Ray will also be sent to Detroit. So it’s Fister for Ray, Krol, and Lombardozzi. Interesting.

Ray has really improved his stock as a prospect over the past year, but it’s surprising that the Nationals were able to acquire Fister without giving up a more significant piece. Put differently, many GMs are probably kicking themselves for not calling the Tigers.

8:28 p.m. ET: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Nationals are expected to send infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed reliever Ian Krol, and a prospect to the Tigers in exchange for Fister. We don’t know who the prospect is yet, but the return feels a little light at the moment.

7:58 p.m. ET: We have a significant trade on our hands here, as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish is reporting that the Nationals have acquired right-hander Doug Fister from the Tigers. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirms that the deal is done. No yet word on who is headed back to Detroit, but there will likely be other familiar names involved. Drew Storen could be a logical part of a return package, though that’s just speculation.

The Tigers have talked about giving left-hander Drew Smyly a shot in the starting rotation next season, so the club was expected to field trade offers for their starters this offseason. However, most expected that Rick Porcello would be the odd man out, especially after the Prince Fielder trade cleared salary for a potential contract extension for Max Scherzer. Fister is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter after posting a 3.67 ERA and 159/44 K/BB ratio over 208 1/3 innings this past season. MLB Trade Rumors projected his salary to rise to rise to $6.9 million in 2014.

Fister is set to move from one impressive starting rotation to the next. He’ll join Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Ross Detwiler in Washington.

  1. pwshrugged - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I showed my wife the news and she instantly yells “WHO WILL HIT ALL THE BATTERS NOW?!”

    Poor girl, she’s now seen three of her favorite Tigers leave this year – all things having to do with baseball aside, she really liked Fielder, Infante, and Fister. Dave Dombrowski is doing anything my marriage any favors this year.

    • spudchukar - Dec 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Maybe you could trade your wife, for cash and a player to be named later.

    • mspauto - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      If as you say he will hit some batters, the Nats can use him to retaliate against the Braves for all the times they have plunked Bryce Harper! Go Nats!

  2. buyamericanonly - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    My question is what is going on with the Tigers ownership? Makes you wonder with Illitches health if he is getting ready to sell the team.

  3. creator69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Seeing rumors now Tigers Signed Choo. Hope this is not true

  4. creator69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    After further research, it looks like this is not true about choo.

  5. xjokerz - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    wow.. Tigers just selling off people now…

    i guess Illitch doesnt want to see another 3million people pack into Comerica Park next year

    maybe he should pay the city of Detroit his 200 MILLION in back taxes he owes

    F’n Chump.

  6. nymets4ever - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Damn on paper at least the Tigers got fleeced……..

  7. metrocritical - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Tomorrow’s headline in Detroit: Nationals Get Fister, Tigers Get Fisted.

  8. buyamericanonly - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Tigers wont have to worry about a poor post season performance next year, they wont make it.

  9. gdobs227 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    This is like a dumb message board trade idea come to life.

  10. socalskinsfan21 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    I love it!! great move fister will be much better in the NL.

    • xjokerz - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      yeah, he will be…wtf is trading for Defense when we dont have any more groundball pitchers

      LMFAO @ DD

  11. 3yardsandacloud - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Does no one see this as a sure fire way to keep Scherzer and keep money available for a big free agent? With rumors of the Yanks out at $175, does Detroit get in on Cano for 8 years $175-200?

    It seems very Illitch-esque

  12. byjiminy - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Boy, as a Twins fan, this makes me feel kind of sick. $59 million for a mediocre 31 year old pitcher from the National League, or three young maybe prospects for a young pitcher from the AL with a career 3.53 ERA? I think the Nats not only have a much brighter future, but the gap just got wider. Who knows, maybe that Robbie Ray is really something. In which case, both the Nats and Tigers are pulling away from the Twins…

  13. Minoring In Baseball - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    This is a surprising deal for sure. I’ll miss Fister, as he did a great job on the mound for Detroit in his tenure here. I don’t really see an up side for the Tigers in this one, not in the ‘win now’ short term, anyway.

  14. weaselpuppy - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    1) Dougie is well liked by the advanced numbers and will get a BIG payday that the Tigers can’t afford. Trading him this offseason means getting more value than waiting mid or next year.

    True and true.

    2) Dougie is 4 years older than Porcello. Rick was a 1st rd pick, grew up in the Org and may have a higher upside.

    I can buy this.

    3) Ricky should be a little cheaper to keep long term because his numbers aren’t as good, but his advanced numbers came around last year, mostly due to adding the curve. Fister’s H/9 went way up and FB velocity went down…harbinger of having hit his peak?

    I get it w/Ricky. I saw Fister throw some Really Ugly Innings this year….(so did Ricky)…hmmmm…

    4) The club needs to balance payroll between bats and arms.


    5) In the playoffs, you pitch your 4th starter MAYBE 3 times IF you go all the way. You pitch your 5th starter not at all.


    6) The club needs some bully help.

    Sure, but there are a lot of options out there, like with Toronto to name one that are better. Many Many better options. Now, Kroll could be nice, but nothing in his MilB or short stint in the NL screams anything more than fungible 7th inning guy.

    7) We needed to replace Santiago on the cheap.

    We have Hernan Perez, who is exactly that, Lombardozzi is redundant 4x over when you consider Dixon Machado and Suarez too. And The Victory Cigar Don Kelly.

    8) They free up $16MM this year and same next by the net move of Fielder and Dougie.

    Sure. That buys you the closer and Max’s resigning upgrade. But you still need a 8th inning guy you can count on AND a stick,

    9) We got younger and got a nice prospect. AJ Cole and Gioloto are injury risks and they likely wouldn’t trade Goodwin.

    Fine. Why deal with a club that isn’t a great fit then? Move on down the road…they are in win now mode and for a guy like Dougie, who is no James Shields but certainly is better than Garza…to not get Rendon is terrible. Awful terribe. Pack your bags and call Toronto and go get Cecil and Sierra and a lottery ticket SP if you want a deal of the same general composition.

    This is my issue. They got crap value for a durable guy under 2 yrs of control who would be a 2 on 50-60% of the clubs.

    I get they are realigning the roster. I get that this is part of a series of moves (that now Damn Well Better involve Ellsbury or Choo or Napoli) to keep “The Window” open through 2018 or so. As part of this reset it wouldn’t shock me at all to see Victor get a 1 (or 2) yr extension and be our David Ortiz. Torii may get a 1 yr bump if he has a good first half… and that’s fine, as they need time to replace RF internally, be it Fields or Moya or that Dirks clone in AA….and yes FA moves quickly and this may be rushed time frame wise because DD got a deadline about Free Agent X….

    But the value on this sucked balls.

  15. kastout11 - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Nats get another strong arm. They should be a tough out if they make it to the playoffs. Nice top three with Strasburg, Zimmerman and Fister.

    • sportfandc - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      What, Gio is chopped meat? I look at Fister as a #4. This is all good for Nats, of course.

  16. tonyz6060chevy - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    And you wonder why Jim Leyland Retired. He probably saw these wholesale moves coming and got out while the getting was

  17. yahmule - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Second time Fister was acquired for less than he was worth.

  18. jrobitaille23 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    lol at all the people claiming the Tigers got fleeced. Steve Lombardozzi has hit well in the minors (good pitchers leagues too) and can play multiple positions. I wouldn’t be surprised if plays much more than he has up to this point. Ray is a legit prospect, probably number 3 but has 2 upside. Krol is just an arm, but the point is, getting a legit mid rotation prospect with upside, a super utility bench guy with upside to start and an arm is not a bad deal for an average mid rotation pitcher. I think Fister puts up good numbers and is a great get for the Nationals but that is due more to changing leagues and not facing the DH. Are people now questioning Dombrowski? Too funny

  19. jburk003 - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    “She wouldn’t let me Buster Posey, but she let Doug Fister”

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