The Tigers 2013 rotation is considered one of the best in the American League, if not all of baseball, and why not?  Justin Verlander leads the way, and last season Max Scherzer showed signs that he is developing into a co-ace.

Dave Dombrowski also found a way to sign Anibal Sanchez and bring him back to Detroit after a strong stretch run and post-season in 2012.

The trio has garnered many of the headlines this off-season, especially during the club's recently completed caravan and TigerFest.  Yet, the Tigers playoff runs each of the last two years may not have been possible without one of Dombrowski's most successful trades since taking over as President, CEO and GM in 2002.

The deal to bring Doug Fister to Detroit in 2011 was not greeted with much fanfare.  In fact, no one predicted Fister would actually pitch better than Verlander the final month of 2011.

Fister is not a loud, look-at-me, type of personality.  During the caravan, he seemed to blend into the background.  Yet, his contributions to the last two playoff runs have been front and center.

Fister is 8-2 with a 1.73 ERA in the last two Septembers combined.  When it mattered the most, he was as dominant as anyone down the stretch. 

The last two seasons overall, only Verlander (2.52), Jared Weaver (2.59), Jeremy Hellickson (3.02) and David Price (3.04) have a lower ERA than Fister (3.12).

Examining the trade to this point, it appears the Tigers have gotten great value for the pieces they gave up.  The Tigers parted with outfielder Casper Wells, pitchers Charlie Furbush and Chance Ruffin and third base prospect Francisco Martinez.

Here is a look at the production the Mariners received in return:

                                                                   2012 statistics

Casper Wells  SEA                              93 games  (.228-10-36  .302 OBP)  
Charlie Furbush  SEA                          48 games   (5-2  2.72  0.95 WHIP)   
Chance Ruffin  TACOMA  (AAA)           50 games  (0-5  5.99  1.557 WHIP)
Francisco Martinez  JACKSON (AA)       95 games  (.227-2-23  .315 OBP)

Furbush has blossomed into one of the better left-handers in the American League, but overall the trade at this point is clearly tilted in the Tigers direction.  When you factor in the importance of the games in which Fister has pitched, the trade has yielded far more than many Tigers fans anticipated.

Martinez still has plenty of upside and Ruffin is a former first round pick, so the jury is still out at this point, but for the time being, count this deal as one of Dombrowski's best.  It looks even better when you consider Fister is only 28 and under team control through 2015



02/01/2013 07:16

From everything I heard about Doug when this trade happened (and the bit of familiarity I had playing the Mariners in MLB The Show), I was super excited we got him. He's one of my favorite players & I can't wait to see a full healthy season for him with this offense. Great post!

05/22/2013 06:50

Tigers 2013 is the best American League. Thank you for giving the 2012 statistics. The updates that you given in your blog is very useful in following the American sports world. Keep sharing these kinds of useful articles. Regards, keep sharing.


Baseball is really a game of statistics given the nature of the game. I like that approach to it, since action seems to be relatively slim in a game.

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