On Monday evening, reports surfaced that the Washington Nationals have made a deal with the Detroit Tigers to acquire starting right-hander Doug Fister. As of the time of this report, the players heading back to the Detroit are not yet known, although some have speculated that Drew Storen could be on his way out the door.
In 2013, Fister started 32 games for the Tigers and finished 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA and one complete game. He struck out 159 batters while walking 44 and held a 1.308 WHIP. In Detroit, Fister pitched with the likes of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. In Washington, he joins another star-studded rotation.
Ever since the offseason began, the back end of the Nationals rotation has been something widely discussed. Once you get past Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, the quality of pitching drastically drops off with Ross Detwiler and then whoever Matt Williams wants to put in the fifth spot. By picking up Fister, the Nationals fill one of those two remaining spots in the rotation. I personally don’t feel that Detwiler has a locked-in spot, and they have now filled that spot with a quality arm.
The Nationals have acquired a veteran arm that has experience with a perennially winning ball club. Outside of Jayson Werth, Washington is a very inexperienced team with a target on their back, and bringing in Fister will help to change their mentality. He’s been in the position that they hope to soon be in so he’ll be able to help lead the team in the direction they want to go.
Making the trade for Fister is a great move by Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo. They’ve added a quality veteran arm to their rotation and have only made things better for themselves entering 2013. The rotation is in great position to get back to the dominant one Washington had in 2012.