In a move that swapped a couple of pitchers with last names that were probably hard to grow up with, the Detroit Tigers have sent Charlie Furbush along with Casper Wells and AA 3B prospect Francisco Martinez to the Mariners in exchange for Doug Fister and David Pauley.
The Tigers had a pressing need for a back of the rotation pitcher for their stretch run and they got that with the addition of Fister. He comes to the Motor City sporting an abysmal 3-12 record but keep in mind that he comes from a Mariners club that just ended a 17-game losing streak. His 3.33 ERA and 1.17 WHIP are a much better indication of what Fister brings to the table. He should slot in nicely in the fourth spot in the rotation behind a dominant Justin Verlander, a very solid Max Scherzer and a rejuvenated Rick Porcello with Brad Penny as a good veteran No. 5 guy. Fister is also capable of eating up innings to help out the Tigers somewhat injury prone and inconsistent bullpen as he has thrown three complete games so far this year.
David Pauley is the other addition Detroit has brought in to help the bullpen. He brings with him an ERA of just 2.15 and a 0.99 WHIP. He is a sinkerball pitcher who relies on keeping the ball down in the zone and getting ground balls. With Al Alburquerque struggling to stay healthy and the rest of the pen not named Papa Grande really struggling to be consistent, Pauley may be just the set-up man the Tigers need.
The Tigers in return part ways with Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells and Francisco Martinez. Furbush had not done much to impress the Tigers in his brief time in the majors having started only two games and not faring very well in either one with an 8.59 ERA in those two starts. He had become an option out of the bullpen recently but with Phil Coke's move back to a relief role, Furbush became more expendable.
Casper Wells is a promising young outfielder but with Andy Dirks getting more playing time of late and putting up similar, if not a bit better, numbers and providing a bit more speed on the bases, Wells is a piece the Tigers could afford to part with. Brennan Boesch will also see even more playing time as a result of the trade which should be a positive.
Francisco Martinez may be the most intriguing part of this deal. The AA third baseman will give the Mariners plenty to look forward to at third base in the coming years and with the Brandon Inge era mercifully at an end (fingers crossed), Detroit is taking a bit of a risk dealing a highly touted prospect at a position of relative need in the next couple years. I guess Dave Dombrowski is confident that Detroit's other 3B prospect Nick Castellanos will be able to handle the job and his .302 average, 59 RBIs, 26 doubles and 111 hits in 98 games with the Whitecaps seem to support that.
In all, I am very optimistic that the Tigers made the right move and did it without mortgaging their future. Fister and Pauley should really alleviate some of the pressure on Detroit's pitching staff and help them pull away in the AL Central. Oh and by the way, we get a chance to see Jacob Turner make a spot start as a result of this as well. Can't wait!