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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. tigers182 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    I still think they should trade Scherzer. He had a career year and there’s no way they won’t regret signing him long term.

    • lisaggamino - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      my friend’s step-aunt makes 82 usd an hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six months but last month her paycheck was 20264 usd just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to website……

      • karlkolchak - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        It isn’t the laptop, but the lap dances. There is a difference.

      • hittfamily - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        Does “a few hours” mean something different in Nigeria than it does here because that’s some sketchy math.

  2. karlkolchak - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Smart move for the Nats. Hopefully this fills the gaping void at No. 4 in their rotation that Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren failed to fill the past two years.

  3. thebadguyswon - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Tremendous move for Washington.

  4. philliesblow - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Dog-gone, not thrilled with this. Unless of course DD managed to get Bryce Harper in return. Hey, he got someone to take Prince so I expect miracles all the time.

  5. papacrick - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Fister will be stud in the National league with a better defense behind him. Detroit better get something better than Storen in return. Doesn’t make sense with his relatively low salary when you look at his production. Thought they were shedding expensive players

    • chill1184 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      My guess is that the Tigers got a boatload in return for Fister

      • thebadguyswon - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        I don’t know about boatload, but probably one significant piece anyway. Maybe Span and Storen?

      • karlkolchak - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        Looks more like a dinghy.

  6. phillysports1 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Bryce Harper back in return lmao you silly ^

  7. slaugin - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Foster will be best #4 starter in NL. Great move by Nats. And hats off to DET for being the only active team in slowest offseason EVER

  8. creator69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    There is no word yet on who the Tigers acquired, but Cotillo says young infielder Steve Lombardozzi and lefty prospect Robbie Ray are among the potential names included in the deal.

  9. budzo83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Through fantasy baseball, I’ve become a fan of Tyler Clippard. It would be nice to see him in the Old English D.

  10. shoehole - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    PAPACRICK. My words exactly. One of the best unsung pitchers in baseball. I hate to see him leave Detroit.

  11. sdelmonte - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Another theft by those clowns in Washington, taking hard working pitchers from the heartland.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      My taxes paid for those pitchers!

  12. goskinsvt - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Holy hell what a steal for the Nationals.

  13. drewsylvania - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    This is one of those “somebody knows something we don’t trades”. It has to be.

    • mitchblue - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      And it better be “Ray is Madison Bumgarner good” trade.

  14. historiophiliac - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:48 PM


    • NatsLady - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Stay in your class–I’m not sure you will be happy when you get out.

  15. dtownbeatdown - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Loved fister in the old english D, always gave us a shot to win. He will do well for the nationals… don’t like to see him go, especially for what we got in return.

    This is either shedding money or there is something more to this… but so far I do not like this trade. And we just gave Don Kelly a raise? What is going on today.

  16. philliesblow - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    The only way this makes sense for the Tigers is if they are unloading Fister’s salary to free up cash to sign a big free agent closer or left fielder.

    • groleo45 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Fister only made 4mil last year. I guess they saw more upside out of Porcello, though I must say I don’t like this deal for Detroit. Utility infielder and a trashcan lefty+a prospect. Faith in DD but damn

    • pwshrugged - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      Fister was arbitration-eligible and expected to make $6-7M this year. Lombardozzi and Krol make about $1M between them, so the Tigers are seeing somewhere between $5-6M in savings this year as a result of this trade.

  17. thebadguyswon - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Wow….awful return for Detroit. Holy crap.

    • karlkolchak - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      That’s what I was thinking. Ray is a decent prospect but had a horrible 2012 before bouncing back this year, Kroll was so off the radar that he was the PTBNL in the Morse trade last year and though I like Lombardozzi’s grit, it doesn’t make up for his lack of offensive production.

      • jrobitaille23 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        huh? have you seen his numbers in the pitcher friendly minors? He is a legit hitter. Getting scant playing time sporadically makes it very difficult to gauge how good he can be, and still he was serviceable.

  18. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    It’s always possible that Robbie Ray turns into the next Kershaw. (Not very possible, but he is a left-handed pitcher.) Krol is good, he has a “closer” mentality, but he’s raw and the league caught up with him last season. Lombo is a gritty player, can play an adequate 2B, noodle arm in LF, can’t play SS or 3B… Doesn’t walk or steal, but can bunt.

    OK, then.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Great. Now we have 2 bunters. Bunters win championships, right?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        We did know that the Tigers planned to trade a starting pitcher. That is was Fister is a surprise; however he is not a star and can be replaced. It appears that the Tigers are targeting pitchers for that horrible bullpen. I expect that money will be spent on a closer.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        Better be, but we could use some experienced/good relievers too. You don’t want to give away good stuff for crap.

  19. 2dmo4 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    As a Tiger fan, I’m not sure I like this yet. I’m Dombrowski has something else big up his sleeve.

  20. voteforno6 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Yet another quick-strike, stealth move by Rizzo and the Nats. Somehow he’s able to keep making moves like this without them leaking out to the media beforehand.

    • pappageorgio - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Dombrowski moves silent and fast as well.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Normally, that means ninja, but I’m afraid this time it means “fart.”

  21. darthicarus - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    So excited, Dombrowski traded Fister for a backup to Don Kelly and a couple of other guys. Rotation has been downgraded, bullpen is in shambles, and the offense took a decline when Fielder was dealt. Great off-season so far in Detroit! *sigh*

  22. metrocritical - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    DD, what have you done? I need more information to make the nausea go away.

  23. officialgame - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Foster has arm issues.

    • Cris E - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      George Foster is 65, cut him some slack.

      • jrobitaille23 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        lmao post of the day!!

  24. giantboy99 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Nats should be arrested for stealing.

  25. pwshrugged - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Trading one of the SP makes sense for the Tigers, and I’d rather keep Scherzer than Fister long-term… but wow, what a disappointing haul. For a guy with Fister’s talents and such a low salary, one would hope for better returns. A top-notch groundball pitcher for a lefty prospect, lefty bullpen arm, and a bench infielder? Not a typical Dombrowski trade.

    I’m assuming Smyly moves into the rotation now, unless Dombrowski has another move in mind, and perhaps the other point to this trade was to free up salary to deepen other positions. Still, if Smyly moves to the rotation, it makes the bullpen look even thinner.

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