Doug Fister gives the Nationals arguably the deepest rotation in the major leagues.
The Detroit Tigers, deciding to hang onto Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, dealt veteran starter Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and prized pitching prospect Robbie Ray, the Tigers announced Monday night.
The Tigers, who already shed about $70 million by trading first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler, now figure to focus on retaining Scherzer, who can become a free agent after 2014
The Nationals, who had been looking for a starter to replace departed Dan Haren, now have a solid back-end starter in Fister. He went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 208 1/3 innings last season for the Tigers, and 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA since being acquired on July 30, 2011, by the Tigers.
With Fister backing a rotation fronted by Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler, the Nationals arguably will trot out the deepest five in the major leagues.
Fister has two more seasons before he's eligible for free agency; that means the Nationals' rotation, barring injury, is set through 2015.
"We are excited to be adding three solid players to the organization," Tigers President David Dombrowski said. "Robbie is a premium pitching prospect, Ian adds a quality left-handed young arm for the bullpen and Steve provides our ballclub with versatility in several roles as a switch-hitting utility-man.''
The Tigers, who had six starters for five spots, now will have room for left-hander Drew Smyly in the rotation.
"This affords us the opportunity to move the left-handed arm of Drew Smyly into the starting rotation,'' Dombrowski said, "where we are confident he will do well.''
Ray was the key player for the Tigers in the deal. He was rated the Nationals' fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. He was 6-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 84 innings for Class A Potomac and 5-2 with a 3.72 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 58 innings for Class AAA Harrisburg (Pa.).
"We would like to thank Doug for everything he has done for the Tigers organization,'' Dombrowski said. "He is an exceptional player and individual and we wish him all the best going forward."
And when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly...
Usually on a broomstick but we're flexible like that