Deal Helps Right Now, but Including Francisco Martinez Could Hurt Long Term

Unless you’ve been enjoying the outdoors on this beautiful Michigan afternoon, you know that the Tigers epic quest for a starter has finally come to an end.

The Tigers have acquired tough-luck starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley from the Seattle Mariners.  Acquiring a middle of the rotation starter like Fister is fine and Pauley–in the middle of a good season–definitely helps the teams.  In fact, with this deal the Tigers may have firmly cemented themselves as the favorites in the AL Central.  Making the deal even better is the fact the Tigers didn’t have to give up Nick Castellanos, Andrew Oliver or minor-league prize, Jacob Turner, who is making his major league debut against the Angels today.

But don’t get too excited about this deal just yet.  The Tigers gave up a lot of talent to the Mariners for an above-average starter and a journeyman reliever.  Gone in the deal is pitcher Charlie Furbush, outfielder Casper Wells and AA third baseman Francisco Martinez, who may end up being the prize of the deal.  We all know that Furbush can pitch and could very well end up being as good as Fister one day.  Despite a couple of poor starts, he’s pitched very well out of the bullpen for the Tigers.  He’s a power pitching left hander who will contribute immediately for the Mariners.

Casper Wells is also a guy we know who can play.  He’s shown power and a great glove for the Tigers in limited opportunities.  Wells problem was that he was caught behind Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch, Magglio Ordonez and Andy Dirks on the depth chart.  Between Dirks and Wells, the Tigers obviously preferred the spark-plug Dirks long term–and I can’t say I blame them.  Wells, too, will contribute right away for the talent-hungry Mariners.

While Furbush and Wells were good, they were caught up in a numbers game where the Tigers have too many left handed pitchers and outfielders.  Dealing them was understandable.  Franscisco Martinez, however, is what tips this deal in the Mariners’ favor.  He’s the Tigers second best positional prospects (behind single-A third baseman Nick Castellanos) and was expected to compete at the team’s barren third base position next year.  When I heard that a third players was involved, never did I think it would be someone as talented as Martinez, who is an adept hitter but suspect fielder.

This move shows that the Tigers have all the faith in the world in Castellanos to rapidly ascend the minors as there is no one in his way long-term to hold down the third base spot in Detroit.  It also shows how desperate Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland are to win this year.  I’m not a huge fan of this deal because of what the Tigers gave up but at a minimum they did keep Turner and Castellanos.  With Dombrowski and Leyland and their expiring contracts, at least it shows they still had a moderate eye on the future.

Topics: Andy Dirks, Andy Oliver, Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Dave Dombrowski, Detroit Tigers, Jacob Turner, Jim Leyland

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  • Sam Genson

    I think the Tigers “won” the deal. Furbush profiles as a back of the rotation guy who is probably better out of the pen, Wells, (who I loved) seems to have Sizemore’d by Leyland and as such had no place on the team. Martinez, who is very good (but not great) may not even stick at 3B…and then you have yet another OFer.

    The Tigers had a need at both SP and MR and were able to fill those spots with players who were complimentary pieces this year and next with the big question mark of Martinez. Now, a PTBNL has been mentioned, but who knows about that. The Tigers went heavy on the collegiate guys this draft, so maybe some of them can move quickly through the system.

  • cruscott35

    Giving a fuck about someone who won’t be in the Majors until 13 at the earliest who would be behind our only other better positional player is fucking stupid. We won this deal. I keep coming back to this site, just to get angry at what I read.

    • Christopher Czar

      I get the trade, and there’s things to like about it (immediate contributors, long term contract by Fister, gave up backups) but the Tigers gave up a lot of talent, and now Dombrowski is saying there’s a fourth player involved who will be a high level prospect. We’ll see how it pans out, but I think the division was the Tigers to lose even without this deal, especially since we keep hearing about the inexplicable fire sale in Chicago. The Tigers could have made a couple of tweaks and got a lot more for that package in the offseason than two guys with plus 4 career ERAs, but Dombrowski’s career is on the line so I don’t blame him. At least he didn’t deal Turner.

  • JohnJParent

    @cruscott35 well hey, at least you keep coming back!

    I’m kinda with you on this though. Martinez is “ahead” of Catellanos in terms of his progression through the minor leagues, but neither guy is even a lock to stick at third, let alone become major contributors for at least another three years. There are very few prospects that I am not in favor of trading to improve the major league club. the loss of Martinez doesn’t bother me at all.

  • StevenSmith

    In my opinion we received two players from the mariners major league team that spent the entire season with them for two guys that couldn’t hold a spot on our major league roster and a PROSPECT . We as fan know PROSPECTS don’t always pan out . I thing diehard fans keep seeing the Smoltz for Alexander deal of years past and try see future deals turning into the same nightmare . I think we won the deal hands down , but the problem is Leyland is still sailing the ship .

    • Christopher Czar

      Right. Too bad they couldn’t have swung a deal with the Twins for Gardenhire.

  • JAYRC_MCB

    @JohnParent_MCB@cruscott35 I agree with both of you. I absolutely ADORE prospects. I can talk about them all day long. BUT at the end of the day they are exactly what they are tabbed… a prospect.

    Martinez lack the kinda power associated with a MLB ready 3B. He is young and has continued to handle the aggressive promotions well. As John stated he isn’t a lock to remain at the hot corner though. His defense is mediocre. Heck he isn’t even a lock to make it to the show.

    I wish Wells and Furbush well but they were a little redundant on the Tigers roster. They have Dirks and Below/Oliver that are basically exact replicas.

    The Tigers acquired a much needed quality starter and bullpen help for spare parts down on the farm basically.

    BIG WIN for the Tigers post season chances!

  • cruscott35

    @JohnParent_MCB I know I keep coming back, and that’s all that matters. I just bothers me that fans seem to overvalue prospects, especially when we draft so poorly. A few years ago we could’ve had Halladay for Porcello and Perry and some filler. Tiger fans were indignant about not giving up those two. Perry blows and Porcello at best will be Halladay on his worst day. We buy into the hype of our own prospects too often.