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Doug Fister Traded to the Nationals

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I think some people are confusing the internet scouting community with the internet saber community. There is certainly some overlap between the two as their should be but they aren't the same. There were some people in the scouting community that were pretty excited about Jackson. Mark Anderson, for one, said a lot of good things about him which helped me come around on that deal. The Weaver for Pena/Bonderman/German deal was received pretty well by a good number of fans. The internet crowd does not like Dombrowski's obsession with hard throwing relievers with command problems so they didn't like German much but I remember people getting pretty excited about Pena/Bonderman.

I don't think any DD trade as been viewed as negatively as the Fister trade - well maybe Ross for Colyer but that's about it.

With Jackson I really remember the criticism of his batting mechanics, that he wasn't going to hit in the bigs. I do remember Mark saying his D would be great. I don't remember much about the Bondo trade, admittedly, but can't imagine he was viewed as a sure thing 1 year out of high school.

But yeah, i can't remember a DD trade where pretty much everyone hated it. Hopefully DD is right about Ray, and the crowd is wrong.

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No, sabretooth, I don't think smyly will match fister. I never said that.

I said that we will get all of his value, whatever it may be, rather than intentionally leaving innings unused by using him in the pen.

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No, sabretooth, I don't think smyly will match fister. I never said that.

I said that we will get all of his value, whatever it may be, rather than intentionally leaving innings unused by using him in the pen.

When you said "maybe the overall major league team is worse, but it isn't by much" we're talking about the impact of the traded players, right? In that context Smyly would have to come pretty close to matching Fister's performance. I don't think anybody expects Krol to add value over Smyly in the pen....so what else would make up the performance lost by Fister other than Smyly?

Edited by sabretooth

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I don't understand why DD seemingly only considered trading Fister for a SP prospect. That significantly reduces the field of our potential return, and seems short-sighted. Sure we might prefer to get a pitching prospect back, but why zero in so specifically on that when someone might have been willing to offer a superior positional prospect.

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I don't understand why DD seemingly only considered trading Fister for a SP prospect. That significantly reduces the field of our potential return, and seems short-sighted. Sure we might prefer to get a pitching prospect back, but why zero in so specifically on that when someone might have been willing to offer a superior positional prospect.

I dunno. I guess he's in win now mode. And he's always been about the starting pitching.

An MLB ready OF would have been nice and useful, but our IF is pretty much set. Maybe we're signing Choo after all?

EDIT: I'm sure if he couldn't get any on the 'list of 15' he probably would've considered other options.

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When you said "maybe the overall major league team is worse, but it isn't by much" we're talking about the impact of the traded players, right? In that context Smyly would have to come pretty close to matching Fister's performance. I don't think anybody expects Krol to add value over Smyly in the pen....so what else would make up the performance lost by Fister other than Smyly?

I'm thinking .5 to 1 win worse at the major league level due to the trade.

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Comments from Rizzo......

http://www.federalbaseball.com/2013/12/3/5171570/nationals-gm-mike-rizzo-on-doug-fister-ross-detwiler-robinson-cano-anthony-rendon

• Rizzo on getting down to final deal for Fister on ESPN980's The Sports Fix:

"We made it pretty clear throughout the people we were talking to throughout the industry that we weren't going to make a deal that included a handful of what we call our top, elite prospects. And [Anthony] Rendon would fit that category. And so, I mean, the teams that we talked to realized that we weren't going to discuss those guys in a trade and we soon got past that small group of guys that we didn't want to discuss and came to some other players with a team that recognized that we have a deep farm system. We've got a lot of talented players beyond the top five or six of our top prospects. And the Tigers realized that there was a deal to be had and they were comfortable with what they were getting back."

Rizzo on pursuing Doug Fister vs Max Scherzer:

"Well, honestly, the extra year of control and the projected cost for Doug was really an incentive for us to make the deal. I've got a history with Max and he's obviously a terrific pitcher, front of the rotation-type of guy. But we really did focus in on Doug. It was kind of a collaboratory agreement here in the front office with our sabermetrics guys and our scouts in the field kind of both really [identifying] this guy as a guy that was undervalued and a guy that could really step into our rotation and really aid us in kind of completing the rotation and giving us what we need to maybe take the next step in our progression."

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I'm thinking .5 to 1 win worse at the major league level due to the trade.

It's not going to be huge if Smyly doesn't get hurt or implode. If you want to use WAR, you have to remember that Smyly is going to be graded easier as a SP than he was as a RP. So jumping from his 1.9 to Fisters 4.6 isn't going to be as tough as it seems.

And if you want to look at actual, countable results on the field last year, Nathan and Smyly each matched Fister in WPA/LI, despite each pitching well less than half the innings. So Smyly has some room to regress in pitching quality if he can up the IP quantity. Of course you lose Benoit as well, so it's really going to depend on what they do with the money they have left. If Benoit decides he'd rather pitch as a setup guy in Detroit than a closer for a lesser team, I think things would be awesome pitching side.

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I don't understand why DD seemingly only considered trading Fister for a SP prospect. That significantly reduces the field of our potential return, and seems short-sighted. Sure we might prefer to get a pitching prospect back, but why zero in so specifically on that when someone might have been willing to offer a superior positional prospect.

My guess is that he needed another arm for next season. If they sign Max to an extension then they won't be keeping Porcello and vice versa. He knew he had to add Castellanos to the lineup to balance out the budget and probably could not afford having two young players playing everyday next year.

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I don't think we will extend Max, unless he takes a big discount to stay here. 5/100 or something. I think we'll build the rotation going forward around JV,Sanchez and hopefully Smyly. I could see Rick being extended or traded depending on how things play out over the next couple years. I wouldn't be surprised if they sign an SP in the 8-12 million per year range next year if Max does walk. Someone you can plug into the 3 spot. Its also possible they simply promote Ray.

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My guess is that he needed another arm for next season. If they sign Max to an extension then they won't be keeping Porcello and vice versa. He knew he had to add Castellanos to the lineup to balance out the budget and probably could not afford having two young players playing everyday next year.

Smyly is the new Fister, Ray is the new Smyly. With the money, you get Nathan, who is the new Benoit. And Krol.

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It's not going to be huge if Smyly doesn't get hurt or implode. If you want to use WAR, you have to remember that Smyly is going to be graded easier as a SP than he was as a RP. So jumping from his 1.9 to Fisters 4.6 isn't going to be as tough as it seems.

And if you want to look at actual, countable results on the field last year, Nathan and Smyly each matched Fister in WPA/LI, despite each pitching well less than half the innings. So Smyly has some room to regress in pitching quality if he can up the IP quantity. Of course you lose Benoit as well, so it's really going to depend on what they do with the money they have left. If Benoit decides he'd rather pitch as a setup guy in Detroit than a closer for a lesser team, I think things would be awesome pitching side.

I think DD made it clear that they are not interested in bringing Benoit back for the $$ he'd demand.

Smyly's WAR or WPA/LI from 2012 and 2013 reflect a completely different context than a full-season SP....I don't believe that you can just add those figures up like runs created or something and assume that he's going to repeat that as a starter over 150+ IP.

Plus, even if Smyly can complete 150 IPs capably (which is a lot more innings than he's ever pitched in a year, blisters or not), he'd still leave 25-50 IP for the worst replacement starters and 6th inning guys to fill, which won't be WAR-positive or even neutral, but will stretch the performance gap between the two.

I also don't see how Nathan makes up for any of the difference between Smyly and Fister. Nathan is filling Benoit's role, and Krol (a largely unproven commodity) will have to fill the very positive bullpen role that Smyly leaves open.

I appreciate the confidence that everybody is breathing into this thread about how the pitching is going to be basically neutral to last year, but that is hardly a sure thing. Last year's rotation was awesome, not in small part b/c they had a plus pitcher in Fister in the #4 slot for 200+ IP, a major rarity. I like Smyly a lot but he's got a long way to go to prove that he can extend his bullpen peripherals out over a full SP season.

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I've never thought Scherzer would re-sign. I think their goal is for Ray to replace him in 2015 and Crawford to take Porcello's spot in 2016. They've also got Lobstein, Verhagen and Thompson for 2016 and beyond too.

I think Cabrera is very likely to sign long-term so its possible their infield could be set for the next 4 years. At the very least, they have what looks like good pieces under control for that long. We'll see how they actually play.

The outfield long-term is a larger concern. Jackson's contract is up in two years and I can't see him being signed long-term. I don't think he'll age well offensively. Avila takes a beating so I don't know if he'll be re-signed after his contract is up in two years, either. McCann could end up being a decent bet to replace him.

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...

I appreciate the confidence that everybody is breathing into this thread about how the pitching is going to be basically neutral to last year, but that is hardly a sure thing. Last year's rotation was awesome, not in small part b/c they had a plus pitcher in Fister in the #4 slot for 200+ IP, a major rarity. I like Smyly a lot but he's got a long way to go to prove that he can extend his bullpen peripherals out over a full SP season.

Not a very bold prediction, but I think the odds are high we are going to see a much stronger JV for the whole season. JV by himself could make up any difference in the move from Fister to Smyly.

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I've never thought Scherzer would re-sign. I think their goal is for Ray to replace him in 2015 and Crawford to take Porcello's spot in 2016. They've also got Lobstein, Verhagen and Thompson for 2016 and beyond too.

I think Cabrera is very likely to sign long-term so its possible their infield could be set for the next 4 years. At the very least, they have what looks like good pieces under control for that long. We'll see how they actually play.

The outfield long-term is a larger concern. Jackson's contract is up in two years and I can't see him being signed long-term. I don't think he'll age well offensively. Avila takes a beating so I don't know if he'll be re-signed after his contract is up in two years, either. McCann could end up being a decent bet to replace him.

As a rule I don't worry too much about what a team might look like beyond 2-3 years, because that's a huge crapshoot. That having been said, if the Tigers rely on their farm system to fill their emerging positional holes I think they would become a losing team, even with Cabrera extended. Maybe he will continue to find ways to swap out parts and sign enough veterans to keep the team in the 90+ win territory, but that will depend on JV and Cabrera aging well at absolute minimum.

All this says to me that if they want a WS ring they should be focusing energies on maximizing this team in 2014/2015. I appreciate that DD is trying to avoid a screw-job salary structure wise re: 2016 and beyond, and I'm not opposed, but we cannot afford to bleed any more veteran performance from this team for 2014 IMHO.

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I think DD made it clear that they are not interested in bringing Benoit back for the $$ he'd demand.

Smyly's WAR or WPA/LI from 2012 and 2013 reflect a completely different context than a full-season SP....I don't believe that you can just add those figures up like runs created or something and assume that he's going to repeat that as a starter over 150+ IP.

Plus, even if Smyly can complete 150 IPs capably (which is a lot more innings than he's ever pitched in a year, blisters or not), he'd still leave 25-50 IP for the worst replacement starters and 6th inning guys to fill, which won't be WAR-positive or even neutral, but will stretch the performance gap between the two.

I also don't see how Nathan makes up for any of the difference between Smyly and Fister. Nathan is filling Benoit's role, and Krol (a largely unproven commodity) will have to fill the very positive bullpen role that Smyly leaves open.

I appreciate the confidence that everybody is breathing into this thread about how the pitching is going to be basically neutral to last year, but that is hardly a sure thing. Last year's rotation was awesome, not in small part b/c they had a plus pitcher in Fister in the #4 slot for 200+ IP, a major rarity. I like Smyly a lot but he's got a long way to go to prove that he can extend his bullpen peripherals out over a full SP season.

Just to be clear, I don't think the pitching even sniffs last year's performance.

My comments are relative to projected 2014 numbers.

Last year was an historic year that would be nearly impossible to repeat.

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Not a very bold prediction, but I think the odds are high we are going to see a much stronger JV for the whole season. JV by himself could make up any difference in the move from Fister to Smyly.

But in the same vein the non-Cy Young and league-ERA-champ versions of Scherzer and Sanchez would make that positive JV differential up in the negative direction and then some. I don't think this rotation left anything on the table overall even with JV's downturn.

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I think DD made it clear that they are not interested in bringing Benoit back for the $$ he'd demand.

Smyly's WAR or WPA/LI from 2012 and 2013 reflect a completely different context than a full-season SP....I don't believe that you can just add those figures up like runs created or something and assume that he's going to repeat that as a starter over 150+ IP.

Plus, even if Smyly can complete 150 IPs capably (which is a lot more innings than he's ever pitched in a year, blisters or not), he'd still leave 25-50 IP for the worst replacement starters and 6th inning guys to fill, which won't be WAR-positive or even neutral, but will stretch the performance gap between the two.

I also don't see how Nathan makes up for any of the difference between Smyly and Fister. Nathan is filling Benoit's role, and Krol (a largely unproven commodity) will have to fill the very positive bullpen role that Smyly leaves open.

I appreciate the confidence that everybody is breathing into this thread about how the pitching is going to be basically neutral to last year, but that is hardly a sure thing. Last year's rotation was awesome, not in small part b/c they had a plus pitcher in Fister in the #4 slot for 200+ IP, a major rarity. I like Smyly a lot but he's got a long way to go to prove that he can extend his bullpen peripherals out over a full SP season.

Benoit of course is a FA and not on the team. I was comparing to before and after the trade, not this past season to next. And I find it hard to believe that if Benoit is willing to be a set up man, that DD wouldn't be willing to sign him. It depends on the market for Benoit and what he wants to do.

And I'm not saying Smyly is going to double his effectiveness, just saying if his quality regresses by half relative to average, due to moving from reliever to starter, it's still comparable to Fister. I guess it's an argument of quantity vs. quality, and teams need both, but I think with the trade they have some money to play with to increase that quantity in other ways, such as a deeper bullpen.

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But in the same vein the non-Cy Young and league-ERA-champ versions of Scherzer and Sanchez would make that positive JV differential up in the negative direction and then some. I don't think this rotation left anything on the table overall even with JV's downturn.

The rotation of 2013 was a once in a generation deal, it wouldn't be as good in 2014 even with Fister, more than likely.

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As a rule I don't worry too much about what a team might look like beyond 2-3 years, because that's a huge crapshoot. That having been said, if the Tigers rely on their farm system to fill their emerging positional holes I think they would become a losing team, even with Cabrera extended. Maybe he will continue to find ways to swap out parts and sign enough veterans to keep the team in the 90+ win territory, but that will depend on JV and Cabrera aging well at absolute minimum.

All this says to me that if they want a WS ring they should be focusing energies on maximizing this team in 2014/2015. I appreciate that DD is trying to avoid a screw-job salary structure wise re: 2016 and beyond, and I'm not opposed, but we cannot afford to bleed any more veteran performance from this team for 2014 IMHO.

They are probably a 90+ win team as currently constructed. And the Indians and royals aren't particularly close.

Their WS chances in 2014 are perfectly safe.

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I see the Twins, White Sox, and Royals as complete non-threats, and I expect all three to be well below .500. They're all terrible.

I think the Indians get pretty consistently underrated; Masterson/Kluber/Salazar is an incredible top 3 of a rotation. A lot will depend on whether or not they bring back Ubaldo or replace him with a similarly good pitcher. They're going to see huge regression from Gomes and Raburn, but a lot of that should be offset by improvements from Swisher and Bourn. Fortunately they still have Asdrubal to bring their team down.

I expect both the Tigers and Indians to make the playoffs again.

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But in the same vein the non-Cy Young and league-ERA-champ versions of Scherzer and Sanchez would make that positive JV differential up in the negative direction and then some. I don't think this rotation left anything on the table overall even with JV's downturn.

Interesting thing with Sanchez is how he came back from that time off in June throwing his FB harder than he ever had in his career and he pushed his ERA down even further than his extra-ordinary 1st half. Jones again? How much of that can he sustain over the next season is a good question.

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They are probably a 90+ win team as currently constructed. And the Indians and royals aren't particularly close.

Their WS chances in 2014 are perfectly safe.

Exactly. The top 3 in the rotation is one of the best in the game. Porcello and Smyly are perfectly good to round it out. Still got Miggy, and proven, league average guys or better in 6 of the 9 positions, plus solid youth with Iglesias and Casty. An excellent closer. A solid 4th OF.

What's not to like?

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I've never thought Scherzer would re-sign. I think their goal is for Ray to replace him in 2015 and Crawford to take Porcello's spot in 2016. They've also got Lobstein, Verhagen and Thompson for 2016 and beyond too.

I think Cabrera is very likely to sign long-term so its possible their infield could be set for the next 4 years. At the very least, they have what looks like good pieces under control for that long. We'll see how they actually play.

The outfield long-term is a larger concern. Jackson's contract is up in two years and I can't see him being signed long-term. I don't think he'll age well offensively. Avila takes a beating so I don't know if he'll be re-signed after his contract is up in two years, either. McCann could end up being a decent bet to replace him.

I think they end up extending Avila. Its tough to let capable starting catchers go. He takes a beating, but all catches do and he hasn't had anything majorly debilitating. Obviously a lot depends on how he hits over the next year or two too though.

I wouldn't be shocked if we re-sign Porcello either. He's homegrown, he stays healthy, he's reliable and an extension only takes you into his mid to late 20s. Buy out his last 2 arbitration, 2 years of free agency and give yourselves a team option or 2 if possible. It might help you save a little on his short term salary too.

I don't know a ton about either, but it would be nice if Schotts or Fields could take over in CF in the next year or two and we could trade Jackson for decent value. Ideally a power hitting RF I suppose.

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