— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 3, 2013
The move isn’t a complete surprise — the Tigers have long been rumored to be shopping starting pitchers this offseason — but it’s somewhat of a surprise that it’s Fister, not Porcello, that has been dealt. Fister will likely be both (1) cheaper and (2) better over his final two seasons of team control, which improves his trade value, but Detroit is trying to win now, so a Fister deal would have to include some sort of quality MLB-ready piece (whereas a Porcello deal wouldn’t necessarily have to).
Fister’s upcoming second-year arbitration contract has been estimated at $6.9 million by MLB Trade Rumors. Fister owned a 3.29 ERA in his two-and-a-half seasons with the Tigers.
We’ll keep you updated as news comes out, but as of now no return package has been reported.
UPDATE: Lynn Henning has the return package:
Yes, Tigers confirm: Robbie Ray, Ian Kroll, and Steve Lombardozzi, in exchange for Fister.
— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) December 3, 2013
I’ll have to digest this, but I’m not very excited about the deal right now.