Laying the Detroit Tigers-Doug Fister Trade to Rest


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We are gathered here today to lay to rest the Detroit Tigers’ trade of Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for Robbie Ray, Ian Krol, and Steve Lombardozzi. When this trade was made the best thing anyone had to say about it was “let’s trust Dave Dombrowski, he knows what he’s doing better than we do.” Besides that, there was a lot of head scratching and questioning the deal. With the Tigers’ recent deal to acquire Shane Greene from the New York Yankees as a part of a three team deal while sending Robbie Ray to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Doug Fister trade has made its way back to the forefront. Today, we will talk about that trade one last time before laying it to rest.

Before the season even started, the Tigers traded Lombardozzi to the Baltimore Orioles for Alex Gonzalez who was cut by the Tigers on April 20. Tigers fans were told it would be another year on Ray so the fans did not get to see him until May 6th when he was made a spot start. Ray struggled with his secondary pitches and looked like he still needed to be developed in AAA. Ian Krol was a train wreck in the bullpen with his 4.96 ERA and 1.684 WHIP.

Overall, the Doug Fister trade was an abject failure and no one will argue that. People can argue that the Fister trade affected the Tigers’ moves since then, but every move has an effect on the next. Fister’s presence would have changed the Tigers’ season, but it would have been interesting to see how.

Fister missed all of April with an injury so Drew Smyly still would have started the year in the rotation. When Fister returned in May, he or Smyly would have been the odd man out in the rotation. Smyly would have probably ended back up in the bullpen, but Fister may have still been dealt anyways and the return for an injured pitcher may have been worse than the Ray, Krol, Lombardozzi package which is hard to believe.

The book on the Doug Fister trade should finally be closed as the Tigers dealt Ray to Arizona in a three team deal last week and acquired Shane Greene. On its own, this is a nice trade. Greene is currently performing at Ray’s potential ceiling. Greene showed spurts last year of being a very good pitcher with the Yankees last season and he will fit in with the Tigers as a 5th starter in 2015.

Please, let the Greene trade be the end of the Doug Fister comparisons. The Fister trade was a terrible trade and the Tigers were had by the Nationals. All the Tigers can do at this point is move on from the Fister deal and try to put themselves in the best position to win which is what the Shane Greene trade did.