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Doug Fister Traded to the Nationals

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No matter what this was a bad day for Tigers fans. We're not as good as we were or thought we were Monday morning. Monday morning we thought we had a big asset in Fister. Whether we got fleeced in the deal or whether he was traded because he's damaged goods doesn't change the fact that we no longer have the big asset we had or thought we had. It's like waking up and finding out that he tore his ACL and would be out for the year.

Yup, if the asset was not marketable, then we were already wrong before this morning. The only questions are whether Smyly will be more effective than Fister was in the rotation and will we suffer an injury that leaves us needing that 6th starter. I don't know those answers but I guess we now know what DD thinks.

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It's easy to look at a team's top 10 prospect list and say we should have done better. Many (myself included) hoped that we would be getting the Yankees' top prospect, Jesus Montero (or one of their young SPs), in the Granderson deal and were bummed when it turned out we got someone further down the list, in Austin Jackson.

DD's team was right to target him and hopefully they are right about Robbie Ray.

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Ok, Prince is gone and 30 million with him.....Fisters gone for some spare parts, Peralta walks via free agency as does Infante and we get Kinsler. Hmmmmm. So far, so......

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No matter what this was a bad day for Tigers fans. We're not as good as we were or thought we were Monday morning. Monday morning we thought we had a big asset in Fister. Whether we got fleeced in the deal or whether he was traded because he's damaged goods doesn't change the fact that we no longer have the big asset we had or thought we had. It's like waking up and finding out that he tore his ACL and would be out for the year.

Yeah, I agree with this take. Even if he is damaged goods or front offices think he'll regress back into the average starter he was during his time with Seattle, they're still a win or two worse off my projections from what I had thought on Monday morning.

The Fister and Fielder deals have positioned them better for 2015 and onward, though. I never bought it was "all in" for 2014 at the expense of the future of the franchise- given the amount of luck involved in the playoffs, it makes more sense to try to make it every year rather than put all your eggs in the basket for one single year. I wonder if that takes them out of the market for signing a big name free agent in part b/c of the cost of the 1st round draft pick. They might just sign Nathan or Wilson and 1 or 2 cheap relievers and a low cost RH OF to platoon with Dirks and keep the payroll around the $150+ million it was last season and that will be it. If $150 to $155 mil is the cap on the payroll then there is not much else you can do.

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Yeah, I agree with this take. Even if he is damaged goods or front offices think he'll regress back into the average starter he was during his time with Seattle, they're still a win or two worse off my projections from what I had thought on Monday morning.

The Fister and Fielder deals have positioned them better for 2015 and onward, though. I never bought it was "all in" for 2014 at the expense of the future of the franchise- given the amount of luck involved in the playoffs, it makes more sense to try to make it every year rather than put all your eggs in the basket for one single year. I wonder if that takes them out of the market for signing a big name free agent in part b/c of the cost of the 1st round draft pick. They might just sign Nathan or Wilson and 1 or 2 cheap relievers and a low cost RH OF to platoon with Dirks and keep the payroll around the $150+ million it was last season and that will be it. If $150 to $155 mil is the cap on the payroll then there is not much else you can do.

If the above is the plan then Castellanos really becomes a major pivot point for the season. If he performs, you still have a reasonable offense. If not -- it doesn't leave much of a fall back. I suppose if the BP gets reasonably fixed, the needs on the "O" side are a lot less critical, but with their injury histories and Nathan's age I'm just not sure either of Wilson/Nathan are a particularly sure thing.

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After building three consecutive ALCS teams, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Dombrowski acknowledged finding a closer is now the Tigers’ No. 1 priority. And if he signs one using some of the money he saved Monday — Fister is projected to earn roughly $7 million in 2014 — then this trade is more than Fister for Ray, Krol and Lombardozzi. It becomes Fister for those three and the money to sign Joe Nathan, Brian Wilson, or another closer to be named later.
Dombrowski answered very plainly that they aren’t — “We’re not cutting payroll” — and, so far, the facts suggest he’s being forthright.

This year, the Tigers’ Opening Day payroll was a team-record $148.7 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Right now — without a closer, without the left fielder or third baseman the Tigers should acquire — the current roster will cost upward of $142 million, based on data from Cot’s and the MLBTradeRumors.com salary arbitration projections.

So Dombrowski wasn’t fibbing Monday when he said, “We have a very, very hefty payroll — one of the highest in baseball — and it’s going to continue that way.”

What will Detroit Tigers do next after trading Doug Fister to Washington Nationals? - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

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The fact that any free agent signed costs a draft pick hurts, and makes the fact that they couldn't find offensive help by trading a starter even worse. They haven't had much of a problem recently of sacrificing the first round pick, so I could see them doing it again. I guess it depends if they are serious about restocking the farm system.

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Why trade a bargain starting pitcher at $7M in 2014, when you're trying to win the World Series? This team's window is closing...it basically has 2 years left (2014/2015). Fister would have been underpaid in each of those seasons...so let him walk after 2015, when the team will need to rebuild anyway. And, Fister was tough as nails in the playoffs, when it counted. Look at his last 7 playoff appearances for the Tigers since 2011...6+ innings and 0-2 runs in all of them, other than 3 runs once against the A's (in a game he still won).

I'm not sold on Smyly as a starter. He was 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA as a starter in 2012...hardly lights out, and teams appeared to have figured him out after his great start.

DD better pull a rabbit out of his hat. This team is significantly worse than it was a few weeks ago. We had an epic starting 4 for the playoffs, something that gave us a chance every game...there was no reason to mess with that. He could have added a closer, resigned Peralta, and been done with it and we would still be the odds on favorite in 2014. No more. Unless there is one of Cano/Ellsbury/Choo AND either Nathan/Wilson still in the mix.

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If the above is the plan then Castellanos really becomes a major pivot point for the season. If he performs, you still have a reasonable offense. If not -- it doesn't leave much of a fall back. I suppose if the BP gets reasonably fixed, the needs on the "O" side are a lot less critical, but with their injury histories and Nathan's age I'm just not sure either of Wilson/Nathan are a particularly sure thing.

It's hard to say without knowing the budget. This is how things started in the 09 offseason when they let Polanco, Lyon and Rodney walk and then traded Granderson and Jackson for Scherzer, A Jax and a ton of salary relief. They positioned themselves better payroll wise long-term and then they added Valverde and Damon for 2010 and ended up with a higher payroll in 2010 then they had in 2009.

If the cap is closer to $165 mil then they'd be able to bring in a closer (Nathan/Wilson) and a bat (Beltran) on a short-term deal like they did with both Valverde and Damon back in 09. If they do have a salary cap around $150 or $155 million, then they should have between $10 to $15 mil to spend in FA now and would probably only be able to sign a closer or a bat rather than both.

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The way DD talked about getting a closer first and foremost, would be surprised if he didn't sign one before the Winter Meetings begin.

With this kind of reaction from a sample size of fanbase, i am sure he will do something quickly.

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FWIW, Steamer Projection has Krol as our 3rd best reliever (behind Rondon and Al A), and projects Lombardozzi to basically hit like Don Kelly next year but much better than Worth or Perez. Going from Fister to Smyly in the rotation and Smyly to Krol in the bullpen is a loss of about 1 to 2 wins depending how optimistic or pessimistic one wants to look at with the publicly available projection systems.

Going from Fielder to Kinsler was a max of a loss of 1 win to a net effect of no overall difference. The large downgrade in offensive performance in that move is offset by a significant improvement in infield defense from 2013. There are other downgrades, though. Going from Peralta to Iglesias is projected to be about a 1 win loss. Cabrera/Castellanos at 1st and 3rd compared to Fielder/Cabrera at 1st and 3rd is about a 2 win reduction. OF should be about the same and catcher will probably be about the same. Rotation should be several wins worse with regression from Scherzer and Sanchez and the loss of Fister only partially offset by improvements in run prevention from Porcello and Verlander. The bullpen is a few wins worse, as well, at the moment because we basically have no one with a track record at the moment.

It depends what one thinks about the 2013 team, but I thought they were a true talent 98 or 99 win team in line with their pythag record. With that as a rough baseline and/or just going off rough win projections, I think they are about a 90 win team right now with obvious holes that need to be filled in the bullpen and a need for one more good position player upgrade to bring them back to a 95+ win projection. Either way, I think they'll be worse than they were in 2013 but with a few additions going forward, they should still end up being the favorites in the division and then who knows what will happen in the playoffs.

Edited by Scottwood

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I don't want to go into work today. Everyone will come by amd want to know what I think. Wont get anything done.

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FWIW, Steamer Projection has Krol as our 3rd best reliever (behind Rondon and Al A), and projects Lombardozzi to basically hit like Don Kelly next year but much better than Worth or Perez. Going from Fister to Smyly in the rotation and Smyly to Krol in the bullpen is a loss of about 1 to 2 wins depending how optimistic or pessimistic one wants to look at with the publicly available projection systems.

Going from Fielder to Kinsler was a max of a loss of 1 win to a net effect of no overall difference. The large downgrade in offensive performance in that move is offset by a significant improvement in infield defense from 2013. There are other downgrades, though. Going from Peralta to Iglesias is projected to be about a 1 win loss. Cabrera/Castellanos at 1st and 3rd compared to Fielder/Cabrera at 1st and 3rd is about a 2 win reduction. OF should be about the same and catcher will probably be about the same. Rotation should be several wins worse with regression from Scherzer and Sanchez and the loss of Fister only partially offset by improvements in run prevention from Porcello and Verlander. The bullpen is a few wins worse, as well, at the moment because we basically have no one with a track record at the moment.

It depends what one thinks about the 2013 team, but I thought they were a true talent 98 or 99 win team in line with their pythag record. With that as a rough baseline and/or just going off rough win projections, I think they are about a 90 win team right now with obvious holes that need to be filled in the bullpen and a need for one more good position player upgrade to bring them back to a 95+ win projection. Either way, I think they'll be worse than they were in 2013 but with a few additions going forward, they should still end up being the favorites in the division and then who knows what will happen in the playoffs.

Well I guess we're hosed then.... not going to renew my tickets.

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I don't think this was a salary dump. Sanchez makes a lot more money and he would've gotten the same if not a lot more back in a trade.

But waking up with a semi-fresh mind this morning.......this trade sucks ***!

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Usually after a trade, I come on here and you guys have dissected the trade 30 different ways and by the time I finish reading the thread I feel a lot better about the trade. This time, although you guys did your part in dissecting the trade from multiple angles, I don't feel better.

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I don't want to go into work today. Everyone will come by amd want to know what I think. Wont get anything done.

I just told a co-worker the Tigers got trade raped.

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It will be interesting to see if and how we spend the money we have freed up. If this is what allows us to sign Joe Nathan, does that make it worth it?

Nope, not in the slightest. Nathan is going to be vastly overpaid and at greater risk of an immediate, steep decline than Fister allegedly was.

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The one thing that I remember about Fister last year that Mario and Rod would mention was his effectiveness against RH hitters.

It may not be much, but they did hit over .300 against him (vs. .264 vs. LHB) - a reverse platoon effectiveness that caught my eye/ear.

Last season, overall, his H/IP were up. Interestingly, he allowed more power vs. LHB.

I think he was still a very effective pitcher, but that reverse platoon always piqued my interest - is it due to his pitch repetoire/location that made the numbers end up that way?

I am curious as to where people think he will trend from here - do people think he will maintain his current effectiveness, improve due to being in the NL?

I am actually intrigued by Krol and Ray for different reasons.

Ray definitely has some interesting minor league numbers, although control issues are a bit of concern - should be interesting to see how he does at the Uht this year (pitched a 3 hit 11 k shutout in only appearance there last year). Good to have another potentially nice LH SP in the pipeline.

Krol, as has been pointed out, backfills Smyly as he moves to the rotation - nice control numbers, something we need in our bullpen

As for Lombo Jr., as I think Lee suggested, he was definitely the 3rd man in the deal - fills the Santiago role - a much younger version.

Also, I liked his dad, not sure why.

All 3 are young - did we get equal value? Way too early to determine. If Krol excels as well as Smyly and Ray develops in the next year or two, then it is a solid 3/4 SP and solid RP for a solid 3/4 SP, trading about 7 years of age in the mix. Big If of course, but I'm ok with the deal.

BTW, got to love the Wash rotation now even more.

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I don't like the trade as it stands but I also believe its a domimo move for something else. So It can't be viewed in a vacuum. This move alone doesn't make the team better and I am sure dombrowski and staff are well aware of the numbers in that regard.

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Well I guess we're hosed then.... not going to renew my tickets.

Because there's no gray area between this and it being a bad trade...

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I'm with those that say that if this is all we could have gotten for Fister, then we should have kept him. He was cheap.

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Because there's no gray area between this and it being a bad trade...

or maybe such an analysis on Dec 2, before the winter meetings and before spring training, is a pointless exercise. It's like evaluating the climate efficiency of a house where the walls aren't yet finished and the shingles aren't on the roof.

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