In search of another starter, the Nationals have been linked to Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer for months.
Turns out, it’s another Tigers right-hander that the Nats have brought on in a trade.
The Nats have acquired 29-year-old righty Doug Fister from Detroit tonight in exchange for infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and left-handed pitching prospect Robbie Ray.
“This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals,” general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “We feel we’ve added a talented, young veteran to our starting pitching corps. Doug is battle-tested through playoff experiences, and the depth he brings to our staff is exceptional. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard.”
Fister went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA with the Tigers in 2013, with 159 strikeouts and 44 walks in 208 2/3 innings. He pitched to a 1.308 WHIP and allowed 14 home runs on the season.
Since 2011, Fister ranks ninth among qualifying starters with a 13.3 combined WAR, according to FanGraphs. The metrics really like this guy, as does a seemingly large portion of the scouting community. I’ve heard Fister’s name mentioned as one of the more underrated starters in the majors.
Fister also has a 2.98 ERA over eight career postseason appearances and seven of which were starts, including a game in the 2012 World Series.
A seventh-round pick of the Mariners in 2006, Fister is under contract through the 2015 season. He made $4 million last season and is due another raise this year through the arbitration process under the terms of his current deal.
Per FanGraphs, Fister’s four-seam fastball averaged 88.6 mph last season. A guy who relies on his heavy sinker, Fister also throws a curve and changeup.
Lombardozzi hit .264 with five home runs and 50 RBI in two-plus seasons with the Nationals. He had 13 pinch hits last season, ranking second in MLB last year.
A 19th-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of nearby Atholton High School in Columbia, Lombardozzi was well-liked within the organization and a favorite among many fans.
Krol, 22, went 2-1 with two holds and a 3.95 ERA in 32 appearances as a rookie with the Nats in 2013. He started strong after seeing his first major league action, but struggled down the stretch.
Ray, 22, was the Nationals’ 12th-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He won 11 games and posted a 3.36 ERA between high Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg last season. Baseball America recently ranked Ray as the Nats’ No. 5 prospect, and he’s viewed as a potential middle- to back-of-the-rotation starter.
The trade was first reported by to MLB Daily Dish.
With the acquisition of Fister, the Nats have rounded out their rotation without needing to overpay for a free agent starter. That rotation now consists of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Fister, giving the Nats one heck of a starting five.