It appears that the Tigers have completed a trade to bring Doug Fister and David Pauley into the fold. While on the surface, it looks as if the Tigers have given up a king's ransom for the duo, it truly is all going to be worth it. This deal was exactly what the Tigers needed to win their division and will contribute to postseason success.
When I first looked at this deal, the question that came to my mind is why are the Tigers making a deal for someone if they are not going to be starting a playoff game. The answer is simple: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello are good enough to win series. At this point in the year, the primary focus is getting to the playoffs. Its hard to make a run at the World Series if you're not going to win the division. The Tigers needed a more consistent option at the back end of the rotation and now they have one, along with a quality reliever.
As of right now, Fister figures to be a massive improvement from the previous guys that have made starts in the fifth spot. Coke was an absolute disaster in the rotation and he was nixed for obvious reasons. Furbush had one good start and one bad start and is now on his way to the west coast. Andy Oliver had an ERA of 6.52 in his two starts and Below put up a 4.66 ERA in his two starts.
Fister comes to Detroit with a 3.33 ERA and a WHIP of 1.17, both extremely strong numbers. He is moving from one pitcher's park to another, so those numbers figure to stay right around the same. The glaring weakness in Fister's stat line is his 3-12 record, however, this can be explained by the fact that he has the lowest run support of all 110 pitchers that have thrown enough innings to qualify in the Major Leagues this season.
Fister has shown this year that he can be a very effective pitcher. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s which he can locate on both sides of the plate. His ability to locate will be the biggest difference between him and the other mess of clowns at the back end of the rotation. He also features a curve and a change, neither of which are plus pitches but are definitely both usable.
The Tigers also received David Pauley in the trade. He will bring a whole new dimension to the Tigers' bullpen because he rarely walks guys. He has only walked 16 in 54.1 innings this year. With guys like Valverde, Purcey, Perry and Coke who like to put runners on already in the bullpen, Pauley will provide a steadying hand out there.
The trade truly was beneficial for both sides. I think the world of Casper Wells, he has shown he can do a little bit of everything, but he simply was never going to find at bats in Detroit with their log-jammed outfield. Furbush is nothing more than a fifth starter or long reliever and Martinez strikes out way too much for a top prospect. The last thing the Tigers need is another Brandon Inge.
While this trade may not have been exactly what Tigers fans were looking for as the deadline approaches, it certainly has great potential for success. The Tigers received two quality arms for some pieces that were never going to fit in Detroit. It truly seems to be a win-win situation.