Perhaps the Detroit Tigers tried to sneak in the Doug Fister trade right before the much anticipated Joe Nathan trade in hopes Tigers fans would quickly forget about the Fister fiasco?
Nathan is a great pickup, and everyone was calling for it. He’s a much-needed piece to the puzzle, and the Tigers have been lacking a true closer for, I don’t know, forever? That being said, I’m scratching my head on the Fister trade. There must be something else going on here that we’re missing.
From the Washington Nationals, the Tigers get two young pitchers in Ian Krol and Robbie Ray, plus a decent utility infielder in Steve Lombardozzi. Young pitching is all fine and dandy, but the Tigers are in World Series contention right now. In fact, the clock is ticking. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Justin Verlander are not the youngest players out there, so the time is now. So why pick up young arms for a proven veteran?
On top of that, Lombardozzi is a really great player to have for any team, but the Tigers already have enough utility infielders to put together an entire (very mediocre) infield. He’s going to be a pinch hitter and a substitute infielder for most of the season unless someone gets hurt. Again, the Tigers already have pieces to come in and take over for injured players in the infield.
As for cap space, Fister was not exactly raking in a massive contract. So what was the purpose of the trade? Some are talking about moving Drew Smyly into the rotation. Okay, great, but why did Fister have to go for this to happen? The Tigers should probably test something like that out before getting rid of the guy.
The bottom line is, the argument for picking up future players is not strong enough for a team who should be going to deep into the postseason every year over the next few seasons. Picking up a utility infielder is fine, but not when the Tigers already have that covered. For the Tigers’ sake, I hope something is still in the works for this to make some more sense.