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Nats acquire Fister for Lombardozzi, Krol, Ray

Dec 2, 2013, 8:54 PM EST

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The Nationals have acquired right-hander Doug Fister in a trade with the Tigers, adding an experienced-yet-affordable starter to their rotation in exchange for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and prospect Robbie Ray.

Fister immediately bolsters a Nationals rotation that already includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, and provides insurance in case left-hander Ross Detwiler struggles to return from an injury-plagued season while also affording youngsters Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan the opportunity to develop without being rushed.

General manager Mike Rizzo had been seeking to add another arm to his rotation, with a trade perhaps his preferred avenue over a costly free agent signing. Fister, who turns 30 in February, proved to be a perfect match.

The right-hander owns a 3.53 ERA in five seasons with the Mariners and Tigers and became a stalwart member of Detroit’s postseason rotation the last three years. A lanky, 6-foot-8 sinkerballer, he went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 33 starts for the Tigers this season and pitched well in two postseason starts, allowing four runs in 12 total innings.

What likely made Fister all the more attractive to Rizzo: He is entering only his second season of arbitration eligibility and can’t become a free agent until after the 2015 season. Having made $4 million this season in Detroit, Fister figures to earn a raise to the neighborhood of $6 million to $7 million this winter.

In acquiring a strong, middle-of-the-rotation starter, Rizzo didn’t have to part ways with a big-league regular or established, late-inning reliever, which could be considered a coup on his part.

Lombardozzi was a well-liked, solid utility infielder who grew up in nearby Columbia but provided limited offensive punch and wasn’t deemed a strong enough defender to play shortstop. The 25-year-old hit .264 with a .297 on-base percentage and .639 OPS since debuting with the Nationals in Sept. 2011.

Krol, 22, was a pleasant surprise after his acquisition from the Athletics as the player-to-be-named in last winter’s Michael Morse trade. The lefty dazzled upon making his debut with the Nationals in midsummer, but he faded down the stretch and finished with a 3.95 ERA in 32 appearances.

Ray is the key to the trade, from the Tigers’ perspective. A hard-throwing left-hander drafted out of high school in 2010, the 22-year-old went a combined 11-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 27 starts between Class A Potomac and Class AA Harrisburg this season. Ray recently was named the Nationals’ fifth-best prospect, according to Baseball America.


118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:57 PM


  2. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    This is the steal of the century. I mean, it’s mind-blowing. If you thought Capps for Ramos was a steal, this is grand larceny.

  3. unkyd59 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Here’s that info!

  4. pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    That seems like a huge win for Rizzo. Now we can really upgrade the bench without Lombo blocking up a spot. I like Robbie Ray but Fister is a really solid starter.

  5. Doc - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    That can only mean that Det goes to the Pen.

  6. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    This also sets up Espinosa for a bench spot. He’ll have to earn it, but it frees the spot up. He can play both 2B and SS (Lombo can’t), he can play defense well (Lombo can’t), he can run (Lombo can’t) and he can hit for power (Lombo can’t).

    Of course, if he hits .100, it’s a moot point. But it’s his job to lose, imo.

    • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Lombo didn’t hit last year either so if they are going to cover a glove guy you may as well hve an elite defender who can pinch run and run into a homer very so often. He still also mashes lefties so he adds an interesting wrinkle if he makes the team.

      But after this trade Rizzo may have more up his sleeve.

    • tcostant - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      I predicted on these boards that Lombo would be trade and Espinoza is the new utility IF. Love the trade, but sorry to see Krol go…

  7. Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    NatsLady posted in the last thread about the offensive black hole that was the Nats bench last season.

    Lombo now makes three of the four worst offenders who are gone – only T Mo remains.

    Fascinating from Detroits end – they wanted to move a pitcher and presumably this was the best deal they could do. Asking prices was too high for Scherzer.

    Rizzo paid the Rick Porcello price and got Fister instead.

    • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Hairston was part of that bench equation and hes still here.

      • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        The bench got better after Hairston arrived. He was it’s most productive member actually.

      • Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        True – I didn’t say Rizzo made it an entirely clean sweep.

        Unless Rizzo just decides to eat Hairston’s contract, tho, I’m pretty sure he’ll be part of the bench come April. His past numbers are enough reason to hope he can be a decent contributor off the bench, esp. with his power. Lombo never had that and never will.

  8. sm310 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Way to go Rizzo. Fister is a great addition to Stras, Gio, and JZimm. What a steal! Although, I’ll miss Limbo and wish him well in Motown.

  9. lovedanats - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Is it too soon to say “World Series or bust”?

    • mauimo22 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      would love to never hear that phrase again. i think davey really jinxed it.
      let’s just focus on beating the braves first!

    • JamesFan - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:49 AM

      “World Series or Bust” is so much Redskins-think–over the top before a game is played.

    • naterialguy - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:37 AM


  10. TimDz - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Like this a lot….
    Lombo was popular, but expendable….
    Kroll was figured out by opposing teams pretty quickly….
    Ray has a lot of upside, but you have to pay quality for quality.

    Overall fair trade, but advantage Nats in my opinion…

    • trochlis318 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      it wasn’t even close to a fair trade, lets be honest here, the 9th best pitcher in baseball over the last 3 years for a utility player, a LHP prospect that wasn’t even top 100 and a LOOGY Rizzo hosed the tigers

  11. TimDz - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Wonder if Rizzo will try to extend Fister like he did after trading for Gio.

    • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      I dont think so. 1st priority is JZ

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Repost: This is theft. Way to go Mike Rizzo. 2 years of Fister and even if he goes to FA you get a Draft Comp for 2016. How did Dombrowski not require Storen???

    Nats free up 40 man space and have freed up bench space. Win Win

    • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      This blows away trading for David Price or Scherzer. I cannot believe he was able to pull this off. I think if you replaced Ray with Rendon I still may not have been sour on the trade but now you keep Rendon, Goodwin, Cole and Giolito in house AND get someone who has been as valuable as Gio and JZimm. I did a little dance when I saw the mlbtraderumors post on it. Lol

      • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        There would have been some pissed off people in NatsTown if Rendon was traded. Glad he wasnt.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        I guess my point was the Nats added a guy who has been worth as much as David Price over the last 3 years but will cost far less financially and didn’t even give up one of the big prospects to get him.

        Fister = James Shields but cheaper and the Rays got the #3 prospect in the game last year AND other pieces and we have up a utility guy, a LOOGY and a decent but not elite pitching prospect. Even if Fister regresses a bit it still should be worth it.

    • sm310 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Agreed, I was shocked that the Tigers didn’t insist on Storen or Clippard,. They need bullpen help.

  13. unterp - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Keep your doors and windows shut when Rizzo comes to your neighborhood. that’s all I can say…

  14. natsfaninbrazil - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    If u look at the defense behind fister, he should get way better, and also AL> NL, he could have an ERA under 3

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I have sometimes been critical of Rizzo’s ability to make trades. This was a good one, actually a very good one. I had posted that when Samardjia’s name came up that it might be a smoke screen so he wouldn’t look desperate as he pursued others. Rizzo did good and he gently parted with Lombo which was also needed.

    Fister solidifies the 1-4 in the rotation which becomes as good as there is in baseball.

  16. Candide - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I’ve always liked Fister (except the Nats game I attended when he looked like Cy Young), but I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the “steal of the century” bandwagon.

    If Rizzo knows it’s a steal and we all know it’s a steal, how dumb would Detroit’s front office have to be to get their pockets picked like that?

    How do the Tigers figure they’re stronger without Fister and with Lombo, Krol, and Ray?

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      Fister wasn’t due a lot, but the common theory is that it’s a salary dumb so the Tigers can gear up for a big free agent signing (Choo? Ellsbury?). That would also jive with them clearing Prince’s salary.

      • Steady Eddie - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        Don’t forget re-signing Scherzer.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Detroit had their reasons – they were pretty clearly determined to move a SP, and this was the best deal they could find. If it hadn’t met their needs, they wouldn’t have done it.

      I think the greater stupidity is on the part of the other 28 teams out there. With SP going for the likes of $10M for 1 year of Dan Haren and $32M for 4 years of Jason Vargas, it’s crazy that no one could/would top this trade package.

  17. trochlis318 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    i would like to point out to everybody, Ian krol and Lombo comibned last year to be worth -1 WAR while fister was worth 4.6 WAR just a swing of 5.5 wins you know for only the cost of 5.5 million

    • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      You have to compare him to Haren in my opinion. Now if Rizzo improves the bench you get even more WAR.

      • trochlis318 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        but looking at the values of the players involved is a lot different than just the compasison to haren do to the fact that rizzo will upgrade at LOOGY and utility infield

  18. natsfaninbrazil - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    With fister, We can also trade Det + Span + few propesct for Price, and sign ellusbery, just a dream I know, but what if?

  19. blovy8 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Hard to believe this is the actual deal, it seems like an April Fool’s Day tweet.

  20. whatsanattau - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Is there another team in baseball with a better rotation? There are other teams with three really good pitchers, but I’m a little rusty. Who’s top four is better? Who’s five man rotation?

    • trochlis318 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      To be honest there is none, we flat out have the best rotation on paper right now

      • naterialguy - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        all the experts said we had the best team last spring, but….. that was on paper. we can have all the talent in the world but if we don’t put in the work and correct our fundamentals, it will all bb35 for naught.

    • mauimo22 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      STL probably still better

      • trochlis318 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:14 PM

        so you would take, Wainwright, Wacha, Miller, Lynn? Garcia/Rosenthal? over SS, Gio, JZ Fister, and im gonna assume Taylor Jordan

  21. water47 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    So, I like the trade. I agree it is good for the Nats and see that the Tigers are looking about adding some inexpensive player that can provide solid value/development.

    But, and here is where I go out on a limb and say that JZimm may not be here for the long haul. I have had the feeling for a while that his icy pitching demeanor/confidence also hold true on the negotiating side. He wants a great deal and is willing to go to FA to get it. With Gio under control, Strasburg wanting similar $$$,Fister for at least a few years and the SP in the pipeline maybe the Nats will be aggressive enough to get the deal done.

    Just a thought.

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      Maybe. But the rotation is still set for the next two seasons.

      • Steady Eddie - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        And in three years we’ll have Cole as a starter, and maybe Giolito.

  22. sunshinebobby - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    This makes Sonny Jurgensen for Norm Snead look legit. An absolute steal. The rotation sizzles, and we have backups when injuries occur.

    Plus, a bench of TyMo, Hairston and presumably Espi could conceivably have a few pinch-hit home runs in it.

    But the rotation is an absolute postseason killer.

    I am studying how I can take two weeks off in late October for the Fall Classic.

    • snerdblurter - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Please don’t book your WS tix just yet…. pretty sure everyone was saying the same thing this time last year…

  23. nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Somewhere Matt Williams is thanking the Lord. What a lucky guy!

  24. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    So the rotation is set as: Stras, Gio, Zim, Fister, Det. Roark and Jordan are in the wings as injury insurance. Cole could be ready for a major league debut this season as well, if someone goes down.

    That leaves some bench help and a left handed reliever as the main needs.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      I think you’re jumping the gun by penciling in Det at #5, but between him and the other internal options, that’s taken care of, one way or the other – no more trades/FA signings for SP.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        I agree Hiram. I think the team DFAing Abad and trading Krol could be pointing to Detwiler to the pen.



        Now I wouldn’t be shocked if the team goes and gets Tony Sipp or Jose Mijares or another guy like that and picks up a lefty in the rule 5 draft to evaluate in spring training but I’m not convinced Rizzo is big on signing a LOOGY for multiple years and Javier Lopez already set that bar high.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        pdowdy, were you looking over my shoulder? Good job.

        That’s my rotation and I have Stammen with a trade notation as I like the idea of Solis in Ithe pen on May 1.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        I was thinking Storen or Stammen as a trade possibility. The team has some arms coming up to fill a righty void. Solis could also easily slot in for Cedeno if need be. I put him in because the lefty market is over priced and have seen several instances of the organization being high on him for next year.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        pdowdy, doubtful that Rizzo is done. If you go with 4 RHPs as starters you may want 3 lefties in the pen.

  25. veejh - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:01 PM


  26. nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    FWIW (and I agree):

    Eye on Baseball ‏@EyeOnBaseball
    Doug Fister trade gives Nationals the best rotation in baseball (on paper) via @CBSSports

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Now on to Lombo’s replacement and a legit #4 outfielder.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        I’ve always been high in Ryan Kalish and he was just nontendered. Don’t know if he will reach his potential but he has a pretty high ceiling still being only 25 and can play all 3 spots. He could be a definite minor league contract who gets stashed in AAA

        I like Tyler Colvin a lot for that 4th outfield spot. Not a ton on the market for a utility infielder now that Punto and Bloomquist are gone. I could go for Justin Turner or stay in house with Espinosa, Walters or Kobernus.

  27. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Barves fans are so pissed. That is a great takeaway in how your closest competitors feel.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      Brian McCann would never have let this happen on his watch–the integrity of the game won’t permit it!

      • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        To funny.

      • Section 222 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        Well played Sir.

  28. veejh - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    In the short term it seems as if we trade raped the Tigers. If Ray pans out in the long run, this trade is more even that is appears.

  29. jimmydavis125 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Anyone read this fangraphs article?

    Note that run of our pitchers they rank as the best over the past three years: Gio, JZimm and Fister, all in a row at 11, 12 and 13.

  30. unkyd59 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    It’s been mentioned, but I think it bears emphasizing… Fister has won playoff games!

  31. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    You want to know another reason Rizzo is a genius?

    Ian Krol was the PTBNL in the Mike Morse deal. A complete afterthought. And somehow he leveraged that, Lombardozzi and a 12th round pick into a proven starter.

    • veejh - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      a bench player and 2 prospects for a proven, solid starter under control for 2 years at a great price. Winner.

  32. Section 222 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Just saw the news. Love it love it love it love it. Now back to read the post and the comments. I’m sure someone will tell me how I’m wrong, but wow, wow, and wow!

  33. veejh - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Fister is 3-2 in 7 starts in the playoffs with a 2.98 ERA. Solid.

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      Against the NL, Fister has an ERA of 2.03. That’s the lowest ERA for any player with at least 75IP.

      • nats128 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Keep those types of comments coming!

  34. Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I’m glad so many of you are happy about this trade. I wish I could be. After NatsJackinFl praised Robbie Ray so much the other day, I am disappointed we traded him. NatsJack, if you chime in with a resounding approval of this trade, then I would feel a lot better. I don’t mind losing Lombo or Krol because they can be adequately replaced, but losing Robbie Ray depresses me. Please you guys and gals tell me I’m way off base here.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Scroll up and read the fan graphs piece, Sonny… You’ll feel better :)

      • Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        Thanks unkyd59, I do fill better. Lots better after reading the fan graphs piece. Go Rizzo!!!

    • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      I think the old saying is you gotta give something to get something. Maybe Ray does hit his full potential and turns into a #3 starter down the road but it is a fairly cloudy outcome at this point. He has improved his control but he could just as easily revert to 2012 (where he was awful and saw his stock drop a ton) as he could take another step forward. Even in an up year he wasn’t elite at AA posting an ERA of 3.72 of 58 innings to go along with a 1.33 WHIP and 3.26 BB/9 innings. He hast good stuff and upside but Nats window is clearly right now so I would say it is worth the gamble to get a top 15 starter who is cost controlled vs the open market for 2 years. Scott Kazmir just landed a 2 year deal at $11mm per year and he has a highly questionable health record. Fister projects for about $18mm over the next 2 seasons and has had a very stable career line. It is a calculated move to win now. Also if Fister continues to pitch well he is a lock for a qualifying offer in 2016 which would in turn bring a 1st or 2nd round pick back into the system to keep the cycle going.

      I know that probably doesn’t ease your reservations about Ray a ton but it isn’t like they traded him for a bag of balls and the team still has Giolito, Cole, Karns, Roark, Purke, Solis etc.

      • Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        Yes, good points. I’m feeling even better now.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      I second unkyd on reading the fangraphs piece.

      I’ll add this – remember, Ray is a prospect. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don’t. If Ray was the only arm in the Nats farm system, it would be a bigger problem. But in addition to the guys we saw this year (Jordan, Roark) there are 3 other pitchers in the top 6 of the Nats prospects (Giolito, Cole and Solis).

      This isn’t mortgaging the future to win now. The future still looks pretty good too.

      • Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Thanks, Hiram. Also good points. I think you folks have just completely relieved my anxiety. Good to have friends on NI to keep me straight.

      • NatsLady - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        Also Karns and Purke. Plus the Mexican guy Rizzo signed, etc. He loves to collect pitchers, that’s for sure. Plus, we didn’t give up a draft pick for Fister, and that was important to Rizzo.

  35. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Wesley Wright was non-tendered by the Rays. He’s a left handed reliever. Had a 3.27 ERA last year and a 3.69 this year. Lefties hit .230 off of him. I’d prefer more of a sure-thing, but he could be a guy Rizzo goes after. He’ll be cheap.

    • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Agreed David. He would fit nicely in the pen. Not sure why the Rays traded for him only to dump him later after 16 innings.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      Groundball pitcher plus his ability to hold runners!. Nice stats!

    • Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      Ohhh! That article sounded good. Thanks for the link, nats128.

  36. Section 222 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    And to think this morning the biggest news we were expecting today was whether the Nats would tender a contract to Ross O. Rizzo, you sly dog!

    Let me count some of the ways this is great:

    1. Done before Xmas — Rizzo strikes while the iron is hot, before the Winter meetings. He walks into those meetings as THE MAN.

    2. Fister is better than any pitcher now available on the free agent market.

    3. Lombo is gone, opening the utility infielder slot on our bench for someone who can actually hit. And no, I don’t think Espi is a lock by any means.

    4. We’ll have a three way dogfight between Det, Roark, and Jordan for the No. 5 slot in the rotation, instead of the no 4 and 5 slots. The the losers going to the pen or AAA (Det is out of options so he definitely would go to the pen), providing long relief and injury insurance.

    So what are the chances Rizzo locks up Fister for several years a la Gio? That’s some pretty decent insurance against a JZnn departure.

    Sweet. Fancy. Moses!

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      I don’t think Espi is a lock for the utility spot, but I think Rizzo will let him compete for it and hopes that he wins the job.

    • Sonny G 10 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:13 PM


    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      Impressive analysis. Add to your list that Rizzo freed up 1 net spot on the 40 man and even if Fister isn’t extended the Nats could receive Draft Comp if Fister eventually goes to Free Agency.

    • TimDz - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      I had that thought earlier (about extending Fister) and it was shot down….

  37. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    It’s nearly impossible to run on Fister.

    In 818 innings Fister has only allowed 16 stolen bases; 15 runners have been caught stealing.

    Maybe he could teach the rest of our staff.

    • ArVAFan - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:15 PM


    • Section 222 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      I agree that Espi will compete for the job. But the question is, who with? Just Walters? That’s not much of a competition. Rizzo seems to be in “let’s win this year” mode, which is great. And which argues for spending a little money to get an experienced guy for that spot — a Jamey Carroll/ Jerry Hairston type who can really contribute off the bench rather than leaving it to the giant question which is Espi’s shoulder.

      • pdowdy83 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        I’m sure someone of the Clint Barmes, Jamey Carroll, Justin Turner will be brought in to compete with Espinosa, Kobernus and Walters.

        Unless they go crazy and sign Cano and then Rendon is that guy…I kid

        But seriously…

  38. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Lefty reliever– the Rays just non-tendered this guy. Did much better after the ASG than before it.

    Wright had a nice showing after coming over from the Astros in August, posting a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings. The Rays didn’t want to be on the hook for $1.5 million or so, but he should get similar cash elsewhere.

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      Posted about him earlier. He would be a good signing. I’d prefer a true lefty KILLER, but I wouldn’t mind him.

  39. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Here is Keith Law’s take.

    Fister’s arrival gives the Nationals a potential surplus in the rotation, with Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan, and the injured Ross Detwiler all candidates for the fifth spot; Detwiler could move to relief, as the Nationals just traded Ian Krol, the only left-handed reliever in their bullpen, or prospect Sammy Solis could ease into the majors in a relief role to fill that void. They don’t have any obvious needs at this point other than that left-hander in the pen, which as needs go is a minor one. This is a stacked team if they can stay healthy.

    • David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      I disagree. We have needs. We have bench needs. Right now, we have a bench of Hairston, Moore and Solano. That leaves 2 spots (and ideally 3, I don’t like Solano as the backup).

  40. David Proctor - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 2s
    #Nats announce they’ve signed Ross Ohlendorf to a 1-year contract [to avoid arbitration]. So they’ve tendered all 8 of their arbitration-eligible players.

  41. rogieshan - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    A very smart trade by Rizzo on so many levels. The fact that he refused to part with Jordan in the deal may prove to be an even bigger move down the road. I think most scouts would agree the latter has a higher ceiling than Robbie Ray.

  42. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Just got off a flight from ATL to PDX and discovered this wonderful news. Bravo!

  43. acsportsfn - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Great trade…makes spring seem a little closer. Now lets get a bat. What’s Rizzo up to next? Probably not a high priced free agent. Another trade?..How about signing Matt Garza for the fifth spot with Detwiler in the BP?

  44. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    From Kilgore:

    “Without Krol, the Nationals will be pressed to add a left-handed reliever. Already, they have contacted numerous free agents.”

    Sounds like Rizzo is really on top of it.

  45. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    In eight playoff starts over the past three years, Fister has gone 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA.

    In one game, he was hit by a comebacker. it bounced off of him and all the way into CF. The trainer and manager came out and wanted to take him out. He told them, “there’s no way you’re taking me out of this game.” He then retired the next 12 in a row.

  46. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 2m
    Source: #Nationals re-sign Ohlendorf for one year, $1.25M – guaranteed, plus incentives.

  47. Drew - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Rizzo got a first-rate, playoff-tested starter without giving up Rendon, Giolito, Cole, Goodwin, Skole or the 20th pick.

    That is amazing.

    The Nats still have an amazing wealth of young starters: Detwiler, Jordan, Roark, Solis, Karns, Purke, Giolito, Johansen, Schwartz.

    The Nats have position flexibility with Rendon and Skole and they now have given Espinosa huge incentive to turn his career around.

    This is a stunning coup for Rizzo.

  48. Drew - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    The Nats get Doug Fister at $7 million per and the A’s will pay Scott Kazmir $22 million over two.

    As the kids say: LMAO.

  49. dgourds - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    I hope Roark is the number 5. Although that would give the Nats 4 righties in their rotation. I’m also not sure how effective Det will be as a lefty specialist in the pen. He’s so injury prone and I think he takes a while to warm up. But it does look like a worthwhile trade.

  50. natsjackinfl - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    Really sorry to see Robbie Ray go but with a return like Fister i say “WOW”!

    Looks like Dombrowski is saving payroll dollars for another FA maybe?

    • Joe Seamhead - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:36 AM

      Jack, good to hear your input on this trade. We knew that you have been high on Robbie Ray for a while now, but good golly miss molly, an unproven prospect, a PLTBNL lefty reliever from the Morse trade that seemed weaker as the season went on, and Lombo, for arguably a pitcher that was better than any of the free agents out there? On face value, this looks like grand larceny by Rizzo, but we’ll see how Ray pans out. The Tigers must have really liked whatever they saw of him.
      Makes me think of Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. “For a hamburger today I will gladly repay you on Tuesday”.

  51. JamesFan - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Right now on paper, the Nats got a deal, but the results of this deal will not be clear for awhile. It depends on what kind of starter Ray becomes for Detroit, whether Krol becomes a solid reliever and whether Lombo is given an opportunity to play to his potential. Hard throwing quality lefthanders are hard to come by and the Nats just gave up two.

    Detroit needed to open a slot and they restocked at a lower level. The Nats got a solid 4-5 starter in exchange. Depends on what happens after that. It looks like a practical deal between two quality GMs to me.

    I wish they had moved Espi rather than Lombo. I do not believe that Espi sulking on the bench next summer as Rendon solidifies himself at second is what is best for the team.

  52. edshelton2013 - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    FWIW, Fister’s ERA looks even better when converted to the equivalent in the NL. The AL average ERA is 3.99 due to DH, while the NL average is 3.74.
    Fister’s 5-year ERA is 3.53, or 3.28 if he had theoretically pitched in the NL.

  53. masterfishkeeper - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    What a great trade! Remind never to trade with Mike Rizzo. Sure, every trade involves risk and maybe Robbie Ray becomes a top flight starter, but it’s a very reasonable risk.

    JamesFan, why would one think Espinoza would sulk on the bench? I’d much rather have Danny as a reserve infielder than Lombo, because he can play a great shortstop and he’s a much better pinch runner.

    Best of luck to Lombo, Krol, and Ray.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      JamesFan is basing that on visual observations from last year. I agree with him that it has to be a concern but will trust that Rizzo will cover that issue.

  54. Sam - Dec 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Even though everyone has pretty much echoed my sentiments, I’d like to add my own opinion to the fire…

    I love this trade. Lombardozzi is a utility guy who has limited upside, despite being quite versatile. Krol looks like he has some potential as a reliever, but middle relievers are certainly expendable. Ray seems to have the upside to be a major league pitcher one day, be it in the rotation or bullpen, but he’s still a prospect. This is the model that good teams follow: develop the core in-house; use excess prospects in trades to fill in holes; sign free agents to patch the remaining holes (if necessary). Plus, Fister is under team control for two more years.





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