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Doug Fister Traded to the Nationals

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Do you look at everything in life in a vaccumn?

No, a vacuum sucks.

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Yeah - I think 4 playoff games for not watching a hall of famer's career in your uniform is bad deal no matter how you slice it. Viewing it otherwise strikes me as whistling past the graveyard. Should we have traded JV to have made one round of the playoffs in 2007? The idea that Smoltz was destined to be a bust if he stayed in Detroit is also a stretch. Were the mounds at Tiger stadium a different height or the distance to home plate unique? He was going to get time and reps in either org.

That's not to say I mean the trade looked horrible at the time. But all trades are judged in both real time and hindsight. I'll accept that real time it didn't look bad, but to not recognize in *hindsight* we should not have done it - I can't get there by any logic.

Putting too much stock on the hindsight portion of judging the trade is doing a disservice to the parties involved. Just because you get lucky playing a bad hand in poker doesn't mean that you should do so in the future. The Smoltz/Alexander trade was a bad beat. The Tigers got exactly what they wanted. Getting exactly what you want in a trade is a good thing regardless of how things shake out long term.

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Wrong. Those are independent events that have nothing to do with each other. If that's what this trade is to be valued upon, they could have gotten to the same place by non-tendering Fister and moving Smyly to the rotation. Trades are valued based upon what you give versus what you get. Not based upon who you can shift around as a result of the trade. That might be a factor as to why you consider the trade, but not how a trade is judged.

If five years, we will see how this trade panned out. You never know until you have the benefit of hindsight. But we do know that most MLB veteran for prospect trades do not work out for the team getting the prospects. The issue here is that we didn't get a top prospect, nor did we get multiple prospects to hedge against prospect failure and give ourselves more opportunities to get value out of the trade. This whole trade rests on the future performance of Ray. That's like going to the roulette table and betting everything on #7 because it's your favorite number. Does Ray equate to #7, I hope he does. Odds are that he doesn't .

But in the end it does. All that matters is the final product, anyway you arrive to it. Sometimes you cannot fully analyze a move much later or until others moves take place. I would venture to guess this is one of those times.

So at the end of the day the Fister vs Smyly comp IS in fact meaingful because it helps us measure the net gain of all of this in the short term. If Dombrowski is dealing Fister from the standpoint of(and I would assume information being feed to him by scouts..etc) that Fister going forward has a better than 50 percent shot of not even being close value wise this time next year as right now and you then target a guy who maybe is undervalued as a prospect you possibly are hedging your bet in a way. Is it a gamble? Sure. Is it somethign we all would have done? Prolly not. But then again we do not have the full array of info to fully know. Another prospect would have made all of this much more stomachable.

What kinda makes me laugh though is the people who are lauding Fister(and rightfully so) as being an undervaued player are also jumping all over what presumably may be an undervalued prospect! Maybe their perceived value is polarizing very shortly as we go forward and DD made the right move at the right time. we're we will look back and go...that ole sob. Like others have mentioned NOBODY knows what Fisters true value is as of today. Not two motnhs ago, 6 months ago, a year ago...etc.

Considering this is the same GM who pulled off trades like the Miggy one, Sanchez one, Guillen one, Weaver one, Fister one, Fielder one why is taking a leap of faith on this one so traumatizing?? He has a team that is so close and you think he just woke up and went, f this I'm gonna do something really dumb to throw the whole thing I've been working up to for a dozen years off. If I had a gun to my head I would go with what I wrote in my previous paragraph.

Ok. So Fister pitches close to what he did this year next, say even slightly worse, Scherzer walks after next year. Steamer has Fister taking even a bigger fall in 2015. Before adding Ray to the picture who did we have that could slip into a rotation spot that early? Thompson prolly isnt till 16, same with Crawford, Ziomek and Verhagen. Briceno/Jimenez farther than that. Ray is closer than anyone we currently had and is a decent plan B in case Scherzer leaves(which tbh I believe will be true). You know we won't be adding another 20 million plus pitcher, and unless you can pull off another Scherzer type trade within the next year, you had nothing else. Not if you plan on contending that is. Could you go sign a Joe Saunders type...sure but..... boooooring.

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No, a vacuum sucks.

Pick up a Shark over the Dyson. Close enough performance for half the dough ;)

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The end product is what matters, but how you arrive at it is important as well because it helps organizations identify ways of improving on what they did in the future.

Good teams can make bad trades and bad teams can make good trades.

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I favor and understand advanced statistics as much as the next guy(Your book is great btw), but don't you ever just step back and go wtf am I doing reading this back and forth intense nerd crap lol? Maybe it's just me. Every once in a while I get that feeling after reading an article on Fangraphs or Sickels site. I just to scream get a fing life some of you. Thats all. I'm sure after typing this someone, somewhere is thinking the same about me lol.

I like nerdy stuff when it's done well. I pick and choose what articles I read based on the writer and topic. About ten years ago, I would read every article I could find that had any advanced stats in it because there weren't that many of them. Now, there are so many blogs and so many writers, that I can only read a fraction of it and really only a fraction of it is worth reading.

There is so much junk out there that it's gets frustrating separating out the good stuff from the noise. Even a site like FanGraphs which has great stats and some good writers has a lot of junk that I need to filter out. It's unfortunate because I know I end up missing out on some informative articles at obscure sites that I would have noticed 10 years ago.

As for the back and forth intense stuff in the comments, I generally don't like it unless it's some of the really smart guys like Tango and Wyers hashing out a new idea.

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There is also the issue of timing. Are wins now worth more than wins in the future?

I'd argue it depends where the team is at, but typically they are worth more now because it is easier to plan around. Don't know if that makes sense.

I think this is a good point as the Fister trade by itself likely costs the team a win or two in 2014. When they were originally talking about trading Porcello or Fister, I assumed one of them would be paired with Dirks and maybe a few others to try and acquire an upgrade in the OF for 2014. I assumed they then could fill Toledo with a few minor league SP signings and then if they needed a 5th starter in 2015 after Scherzer left, then they could scour the FA market and sign a vet on a 1 year deal in the $7 or $8 million range.

They instead took a different approach and used it to add to their depth by acquiring 3 young, cost controlled players. 2 of which will be on the team in 2014 and a 3rd who could start by 2015. It's possible they tried to pursue a LF in a trade but didn't find anything to their liking and felt that it would hurt their depth too much, so instead they felt it was more prudent to spend in free agency to acquire one. If the reports are accurate about Ellsbury picking the Yankees over the Tigers and Choo being the main target for the Tigers, then it would seem they still have money to spend and are going to upgrade in LF via Fa rather than through a trade and I assume they have Castellanos booked to start at 3B.

The Lomberdozzi acquisition surprises me the most. He had decent numbers in the minors that haven't come to fruition yet in the majors and is just entering his prime, but it sounds like they think he will be a super utility guy. This could make it more likely that they are willing to part with Perez or a few OF prospects in a separate trade and that is something to consider. Or, it could allow Perez more time to develop in Toledo. I just assumed that if they were going to trade Fister for prospects or young, MLB ready players and the return didn't include a starting position player, then they would have got back at least one top starting pitching prospect and 2 young, MLB relievers given our weakness and lack of depth there for 2014 and beyond. Instead, I assume this means they will acquire another cheap middle reliever or two in FA and had no such inkling to do so on a utility/bench guy and wanted to pursue that piece in a trade as well as a replacement for Smyly in the pen.

Edited by Scottwood

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Pick up a Shark over the Dyson. Close enough performance for half the dough ;)

Ha, well played, and correct.

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Adding Lombardozzi makes more sense to me if the Tigers are planning on using Castellanos at 3b. I don't think they plan on Lombardozzi as a fulltime player there, but maybe he holds the fort for a bit if Nick starts the season in Toledo. Lombardozzi could also share some time there with Nick as he adjusts to the MLB.

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The end product is what matters, but how you arrive at it is important as well because it helps organizations identify ways of improving on what they did in the future.

Good teams can make bad trades and bad teams can make good trades.

Aboslutely true. Hopefully this isn't a case of a good team making a bad trade. I guess in the end we can all hop aboard that train.

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I think this is a good point as the Fister trade by itself likely costs the team a win or two in 2014. When they were originally talking about trading Porcello or Fister, I assumed one of them would be paired with Dirks and maybe a few others to try and acquire an upgrade in the OF for 2014. I assumed they then could fill Toledo with a few minor league SP signings and then if they needed a 5th starter in 2015 after Scherzer left, then they could scour the FA market and sign a vet on a 1 year deal in the $7 or $8 million range.

They instead took a different approach and used it to add to their depth by acquiring 3 young, cost controlled players. 2 of which will be on the team in 2014 and a 3rd who could start by 2015. It's possible they tried to pursue a LF in a trade but didn't find anything to their liking and felt that it would hurt their depth too much, so instead they felt it was more prudent to spend in free agency to acquire one. If the reports are accurate about Ellsbury picking the Yankees over the Tigers and Choo being the main target for the Tigers, then it would seem they still have money to spend and are going to upgrade in LF via Fa rather than through a trade and I assume they have Castellanos booked to start at 3B.

The Lomberdozzi acquisition surprises me the most. He had decent numbers in the minors that haven't come to fruition yet in the majors and is just entering his prime, but it sounds like they think he will be a super utility guy. This could make it more likely that they are willing to part with Perez or a few OF prospects in a separate trade and that is something to consider. Or, it could allow Perez more time to develop in Toledo. I just assumed that if they were going to trade Fister for prospects or young, MLB ready players and the return didn't include a starting position player, then they would have got back at least one top starting pitching prospect and 2 young, MLB relievers given our weakness and lack of depth there for 2014 and beyond.

This is what I thought as well. Either this just wasn't true to begin with or DD had one put over him. It's hard for me to envision he's been had, but it happens to the best of them. Let's hope this is not the case.

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Adding Lombardozzi makes more sense to me if the Tigers are planning on using Castellanos at 3b. I don't think they plan on Lombardozzi as a fulltime player there, but maybe he holds the fort for a bit if Nick starts the season in Toledo. Lombardozzi could also share some time there with Nick as he adjusts to the MLB.

I considered that, as well. It's definitely possible. I've read that his arm is weak so I'm not sure how that will play at 3B, but the Tigers may view his arm strength differently.

They also had a really weak bench and lacked depth and its a move to shore that up. If they sign someone like Choo in FA, that also pushes Dirks to the bench and again adds more depth and improves the bench. It could be a way of improving on the margins.

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I considered that, as well. It's definitely possible. I've read that his arm is weak so I'm not sure how that will play at 3B, but the Tigers may view his arm strength differently.

They also had a really weak bench and lacked depth and its a move to shore that up. If they sign someone like Choo in FA, that also pushes Dirks to the bench and again adds more depth and improves the bench. It could be a way of improving on the margins.

If they sign Choo I would assume they would trade Dirks for a right handed bat, backup catcher or reliever. Having both Kelly and Dirks on the bench together seems redundant!

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Putting too much stock on the hindsight portion of judging the trade is doing a disservice to the parties involved. Just because you get lucky playing a bad hand in poker doesn't mean that you should do so in the future. The Smoltz/Alexander trade was a bad beat. The Tigers got exactly what they wanted. Getting exactly what you want in a trade is a good thing regardless of how things shake out long term.

Really? Even if 'what you want' reduces the value of your franchise for 15 yrs?

The real argument or question to be grappled with here is should the choice of short term objectives be re-evaluated in terms of long term outcomes, or should decision makers always get a pass by arguing "I was acting rationally for the short term"? Fair question to be argued on all sides.

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Really? Even if 'what you want' reduces the value of your franchise for 15 yrs?

It didn't reduce the value of the franchise for 15 years. That is a fatalistic approach, IMO. They traded a lottery ticket. That one won, but most don't. Had they known that the ticket was a winner, it would be a different story, and therein lies the danger of the hindsight approach. Allow me some leeway to separate a recent trade into components, and assume that a couple of summers ago that we traded Turner for Sanchez, and Brantly for Infante separately. If Turner becomes an ace, did we lose the Turner/Sanchez trade? Would you think differently if the Tigers did not re-sign Sanchez as a FA?

The real argument or question to be grappled with here is should the choice of short term objectives be re-evaluated in terms of long term outcomes, or should decision makers always get a pass by arguing "I was acting rationally for the short term"? Fair question to be argued on all sides.

Trading a chance for John Smoltz, the prospect, to become the player that he became is very different than trading Smoltz in his prime (or even MLB ready), and not delineating theat is just as wrong as assume that every prospect will be a bust.

Edited by Walt

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Dave didn't want to pay more than the minimum for a utility player and reliever that's why they weren't included in the deal. The deal would be worse if Storen and Espinosa were in there becuase you could of got two similar type players on the open market for the same price!

Espinosa made $526 in 2013 and is not arbitration eligible until 2015. So we would have renewed his contract for $526 at most and watched him in spring training. We could have released him towards the end of February for 1/6 of that number.

So Espinosa is nearly identical to Lombardozzi. 2.1 service time. Lombardozzi made $506 in 2013 and will be arbitration eligible in 2015.

But I was advocating getting both guys.

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I considered that, as well. It's definitely possible. I've read that his arm is weak so I'm not sure how that will play at 3B, but the Tigers may view his arm strength differently.

They also had a really weak bench and lacked depth and its a move to shore that up. If they sign someone like Choo in FA, that also pushes Dirks to the bench and again adds more depth and improves the bench. It could be a way of improving on the margins.

Is it possible we move Kinsler to 3B, with Perez/Lombardozzi at 2B? Dirks/Castelllanos in LF

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.....therein lies the danger of the hindsight approach. Allow me some leeway to separate a recent trade into components, and assume that a couple of summers ago that we traded Turner for Sanchez, and Brantly for Infante s.....

but let me then argue that the danger of not using hindsight to re-evaluate after the fact removes the incentive to improve the decision process at the front end. Was there something more they could have known about Smoltz, were there tools they weren't using, resources they should have had at the minor league level aimed at better evaluation and development that would have given a better indication of Smoltz's future value? As Lee pointed out, the Tigers had a lousy system; would a better system have made Smoltz less a 'lottery ticket' when that decision was made? I don't think you want to just dismiss actual outcomes as a source to inform the quality of your current decision making.

sure at any time the future cannot be fully known, but heck, the whole Saber effort is exactly an effort to predict the future more accurately from the past. That is always the objective.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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but let me then argue that the danger of not using hindsight to re-evaluate after the fact removes the incentive to improve the decision process at the front end. Was there something more they could have known about Smoltz, were there tools they weren't using, resources they should have had at the minor league level aimed at better evaluation and development that would have given a better indication of Smoltz's future value? As Lee pointed out, the Tigers had a lousy system; would a better system have made Smoltz less a 'lottery ticket' when that decision was made? I don't think you want to just dismiss actual outcomes as a source to inform the quality of your current decision making.

I don't necessarily disagree with what you are saying, but the scientist in me wants to limit the variables and evaluate negotiating a trade as something independent from evaluating prospect talent. I personally don't think that it was a bad trade because the Tigers traded a way a guy that was still quite a way of from the mlb, and it appears that the org did not value him highly. They got a front line starter that helped the team down the stretch. I think that you make that deal every time, and my opinion doesn't change whether you win the World series that year or get swept out if the first round, or whether the prospect is a star or bust in the future.

On the other hand, if your scouts are missing frequently, you replace the scouts.

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....but the scientist in me wants to limit the variables .... ...

well, as long as you are careful about not assuming any can openers.... :laugh:

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anthony fenech ‏@anthonyfenech 10m

Dombrowski said he had interest in 15 young starters. Robbie Ray was the only one they could get. Even explored three-team deals.

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If they sign Choo I would assume they would trade Dirks for a right handed bat, backup catcher or reliever. Having both Kelly and Dirks on the bench together seems redundant!

I'd just drop Kelly because I think Dirks is younger, cheaper and better.

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I'd just drop Kelly because I think Dirks is younger, cheaper and better.

Agree but Dirks probably could fetch a useful piece back in a trade

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anthony fenech ‏@anthonyfenech 10m

Dombrowski said he had interest in 15 young starters. Robbie Ray was the only one they could get. Even explored three-team deals.

Then he should have just not traded Fister if Ray is the best he could get.

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