OT: Tigers acquire Doug Fister and David Pauley

Submitted by maizeandblue21 on July 30th, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I know this is a little late but i've been waiting on the full details to come out, which they haven't. The tigers have traded LHP Charlie Furbush and OF Casper Wells (also could include 3B Francisco Martinez, top prospect, and a player to be named later) for RHP Doug Fister who has a lower ERA than anyother tiger pitcher not named Justin Verlander and will solidify the rotation along with being under control until 2015. They also have acquired David Pauley as part of the same deal and has been lightouts this year so that will help out bullpen tremendously. Also there is another deal expected to occur later today as Jacob Turner will be sent back to the minors but will not say which one and DD says we aren't done just yet.



July 30th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

Top prospect you say? As an M fan I approve. How close is this kid from the show? Power? Defense? Third base is a huge need.


July 30th, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

Peter Gammons on MLB Network says he loves this trade for the Tigers.  He says he believes Fister can really be a solid #3 or #4 starter (along with Porcello).  He also noted that Martinez might have the highest ceiling of all the players in the deal but the Tigers had Castellanos (a better 3B prospect) which made them rich in young 3B talent and made Martinez expendable.


July 30th, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

but most likely not as a 3B because he butchers every ball hit to him and has 28 errors in AA. Dont worry we have a much better 3B in the minors who is only 19 and is a better hitter with more discipline. Martinez has raw power but no plate discipline and we be moved to the outfield eventually.


July 30th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

Quick notes on Fister.  They guy has the worst run support for any of the 110 qualifying pitchers.  He has lost 9 straight starts but within that lost by scores of 3-2 , 4-1 , 4-0 , 1-0 , 5-1 , 4-0 and 4-1.  So it is not like this guy is getting hit around.  I think with the Tigers offense and the chance to move from last to first place will make this a great deal.

yossarians tree

July 30th, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

Yep, initially looks like a good deal. Fister has thrown 3 complete games this season and his WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) is a very solid 1.17. Martinez was a top young prospect but those often do not pan out and DD had to make a move. In one deal he acquired their two greatest needs--a solid starter and what appears to be excellent help for the bullpen in Pauley.

Not giving up Turner is nice, though I'm a bit worried his start today may be a showcase for another deal. Or, they are giving him his chance to get his big-league debut over with knowing that for the rest of the season they will have a set rotation.


July 30th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

As a non-Tigers fan, my view for you guys on this trade is it's a good deal considering your pitching staff hasn't been that great sans Verlander this year and you have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. But at the same time, I'd also be a little skeptical if I were you.

Fister has been a very solid pitcher the past two years, but he essentially came out of nowhere. The fact that he wasn't even rated as a Mariner top 30 prospect when he was in the minors is a little eye opening.

Of course it is possible that he's just one of those guys who flew under the radar and is now proving himself when he gets his shot. But there a few red flags that say he might just be an illusion. First off, he pitched in Safeco Field for half of his starts, on of the best pitchers parks in baseball. He also got to pitch the A's park and Angels park for a good amount of his starts, two more pitcher firendly parks.

Now he moves from a division with three of the best pitchers parks in baseball and 2 of the worst offense to a park that is a neutral park, maybe a little hitter friendly, and into a division with some much better offenses. The offenses aren't great, but they're better than the ones in the AL West. And it doesn't help that the last pitcher you guys acquired from Seattle at the deadline blew up in Washburn. Obviously they're different people, but the possibility remains.

But if you look at his stats, they are very re-assuring. A good ERA, a very solid WHIP, not many strikeouts which could be a red flag, but not many walks so that balances out. It also sucks that the Tigers had to give up a top prospect, but they have another top 3rd base prospect, so I'd be more worried about the PTBNL.

Overall, considering how weak your pitching staff has been, and how solid Fister has been, it was a deal that needed to be made. It also helps that you get a very solid reliever in Pauley.



July 30th, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

but he will help us cruise to the division title. i expect him to be a very solid #4/ good #3 in this rotation. As for the AL west thing id have to argue that it actually has offense outside of oakland and seattle, id actually put the rangers as one of the best in the AL and angels an overall solid lineup. I dont think he will really struggle in detroit especially at comerica and with facing the indians and royals. I dont think the indians will go much farther even if they do acquire ubaldo jimenez he wont help they have inconsistent starters and a so-so bullpen. They also have a terrible offense and have thrived on lucky wins. Look for the tigers to drop penny soon and possibly add Wandy Rodriguez or Jason Marquis before tomorrow.


July 30th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

The Angels have one of the worst ten offenses in terms of runs scored. And the two AL entral teams you mentioned, the Royals and Indians, are two of the better AL Central offenses in terms of runs scored, with the Royals placing 10th in all of baseball and the Indians 16th, both better than any AL West offense besides Texas.

And in July, the Royals had the 7th best offense, and the Twins had the 4th, so there is a big jump in offense from the West to the Central. Of course the Indians dropped all the way to 24th, but they just added Fukodome, and Choo and Sizemore will be coming back in August, so their offense should improve soon.

As for the Tigers adding another starter, I could see Marquis, but as for Rodriguez, I don't see him being moved. There haven't been too many rumors lately and he juts signed an extension this offseason.



July 30th, 2011 at 2:41 PM ^

This is a great move for the Tigers. Fister really struggled as a rookie but has pitched pretty well since being re-called last year. He's a legit #3 starter in my opinion. Only ten AL starting pitchers have a better FIP this season than Fister. He's a 3.0 WAR player through this point in the season (also 10th in the AL) and is on pace to finish at 4.2-4.5 WAR. One could reasonably expect a slight decline from this point forward (xFIP of 3.90) but he's still a major upgrade to the rotation.

David Pauley has been very lucky for far this year, but is a solid reliever who should help the bullpen situation. While his numbers have far exceeded his peripherals, we've seen pitchers (especially relievers) who have sustained their "luck" for an entire season.

I still think the Tigers need to make another move, but they are definitely in better shape today than they were previously.


July 31st, 2011 at 12:55 AM ^

makes you think regression, his FIP is also in line with his ERA. His HR/FB rate is 4.4 percent (xFIP is based on HR/FB), but he maintained a rate of 6.4 percent for last year. It's quite possible he's just good at not giving up home runs and we can expect something more in line with FIP than xFIP.


July 30th, 2011 at 3:23 PM ^

Fister is a really good number 2 or 3 guy.  Dont let his record scare you because he had the lowest run support in the MLB. He almost always went 6+ innings. Pauley is a good player too. I think he benifited alot because of safeco field.  He had a 3.23 ERA away, and 0.66 ERA at home. 

skunk bear

July 30th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

You were born in '78, LSA?

Do you remember Smoltz for Alexander?  About this time in  '87?


Doyle finished the regular season 9-0 and helped us win the AL East.  ( then flopped in the ALCS against the Twinkies.)

But Smoltz was a terrific ppitcher for two decades.


I have no problem if the player to be named turns out to be a regular. Just not a HOF candidate, that's all.

skunk bear

July 31st, 2011 at 10:35 AM ^

Don't be an idiot MichFan.

I am saying nothing of the kind.

Smoltz was sort of like Turner is now. A premium prospect.

Alexander was near the end and was never a great pitcher. You knew at the time the trade was made that the Tigers were possibly going to pay a great price to try to win now.


Fister is younger, but I'll be surprised if Fister ever plays in an All-Star game. Giving up a premium prospect for Fister would be tempting fate.  Good prospect?  Fine.   Good prospect has Hall of Fame career?  Way to go Seattle.

My concern is that I don't know who the player to be named is and the Seattle GM is saying that it is a big time prospect.


July 31st, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

This is revisionism.  Smoltz was far from a premium prospect.  He was struggling in Glens Falls, with an ERA over 5.00.  He seemed to be a run-of-the-mill minor leaguer, nothing more.    In a million-to-one shot, he turned into a star with the Braves.  Whether he would have with the Tigers (a franchise not known for developing young arms at the time) is anyone's guess.  Whether he would have prevented the Tigers' decade of futility from happening is extremely doubtful.  What we do know is that Doyle Alexander was a machine in 1987, helping the Tigers win the division.  It was the kind of trade contending teams should make.


skunk bear

July 31st, 2011 at 12:13 PM ^

IIRC, jm, Al and George and just about everybody said at the time that they thought Smoltz was going to be good and that the Tigers had traded the future for now.

Personally, I had never seen the guy pitch and could only take their word for it.

I have since read that Bill Lajoie was against the deal.


July 31st, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

I don't buy any of that (they may have said that years later, but I doubt they felt that way at the time.)  Smoltz had been a 22nd-round pick in 1985.  He had a decent year in class A Lakeland the year before, but had a 5.68 ERA and 1.631 WHIP in 1987 at Glens Falls.  He didn't look anywhere near being ready for the majors, much less a future superstar.  Here are his stats:


Getting traded away from the Tiger organization may well have saved his career, because at that time the Tigers had a shoestring budget for their farm system and stunk especially at developing pitchers.  (I doubt the Tigers would have sprung for a psychologist for Smoltz in the early '90s, either.)

skunk bear

July 31st, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

Then let me own my own thoughts.

I rarely followed the career of some unknown minor leaguer the Tigs traded away. But, I followed Smoltz.

When Smoltz made the Braves in 1988, I knew about it.

The Tigers have traded lots of minor leaguers over the years and I only knew about them if they made it big or played against the Tigers. Why follow Smoltz?


I'm thinking the reason that I followed Smoltz was that the people that I had heard talk about John, talked him up.

skunk bear

July 31st, 2011 at 11:38 PM ^

Well, obviously not his stats. But, to try and evaluate Smoltz as a prospect 24 years later, exclusively on his stats, would be to do what jmblue suggested that I was doing: revisionism.


I guess the only way to know for sure is find the video of the Tiger announcers and the TV sports reporters and the print journalism that discussed the trade contemporaneously.


The only way "mortgaging the future to win now" was not a contemporaneous subject is if my mind is playing tricks on me.

If it was a subject discussed in the wake of the deal, the only way that makes sense is if Smoltz was considered a top prospect. I mean: Why would trading some schlub raise the question of mortgaging the future?


It was a long time ago.


July 30th, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

he didn't allow a run in his first 8 appearances out of the pen. Two bad games is a pretty small sample size to conclude that he can't get it done out of the pen, particularly when he gets to face left handed hitters. He really struggles against righties.