The Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers have completed a trade that will send starting pitcher Doug Fister to the Nationals. In return, the Nationals will be sending a package of Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol, and prospect Robbie Ray. The deal was first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.
Fister, 30 in 2014, will head to another contending team in the Nationals. Over his career, Fister has posted a 3.53 ERA. In 2013, with Detroit, Fister went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 208.2 innings (33 appearances, 32 starts). In his 32 starts, he delivered a quality start 69% of the time (22-for-32) and the Tigers went 18-14 with Fister on the mound. Fister, who doesn't have an overpowering fastball (topped out at 92.3 MPH in 2013), uses a variety of breaking pitches to get hitters out. Location is key for Fister, and when he's on, look out. Denard Span, Fister's new teammate, said this, "Great pitcher. I've faced him a lot. Good pick up."
In return for Doug Fister, the Tigers will be receiving Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol, and prospect Robbie Ray. Lombardozzi heads the list in MLB experience. Over three seasons, he's hit .264/.297/.342 while mostly being a utility infielder for the Nationals. Krol seems to be what the Tigers want, as he is a lefty reliever with some upside. He pitched to a 2-1 record with a 3.95 ERA in 32 games last season. Robbie Ray has never pitched above AA. He has a career 4.29 minor league ERA.
It seems to me that the Tigers may have made this trade for salary relief because any way you slice it, the Nationals got the best of this one. We'll see how it all plays out, but the Nationals get two-years of Doug Fister for unproven young players. It seems smart to me.