Seattle Mariners: Analyzing the Doug Fister Trade

Alex CarsonCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Starting pitcher Doug Fister #58 of the Seattle Mariners works the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 21, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Mariners today made a trade with the Detroit Tigers, sending right handed starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley to the motor city in exchange for outfielder Casper Wells, left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush, Double-A third baseman Francisco Martinez and a player to be named later (PTBNL).

Right now I'd  call the trade fairly even, with a potential edge to Seattle if Furbush pans out as a starter. If he ends up as a decent reliever sitting in the low 90's, he's a nice long term piece to the bullpen, but his value is significantly lower.

Even with a velocity drop, he stands to benefit from Safeco Field if he is made a starter, but it sounds as if the Mariners plan to stick him in the bullpen for the time being.

Wells is a guy with some pop with speed and good range in the outfield. He may not be excellent at any one thing but his whole package makes for a nice player on this club.

Martinez looks pretty raw. He's toolsy and young for the levels he's played at, but the 27 errors half way through the Double-A season raises an eyebrow for me.  Tons of upside, though.

You of course sometimes don't know who wins a trade until years later, but we'll be a lot closer to knowing which way it tilts in a few  weeks when the PTBNL is announced.

Shannon Drayer reports that the PTBNL is one of Detroit's first three 2010 draft picks. Chance Ruffin seems to be the most realistic in that case, because if it turned out to be either Drew Smyly or Nick Castellanos, Jack Zduriencik might be doing backflips down Edgar Martinez Drive.

If that report is way of base (I have no reason not to believe Drayer) and it's some minor league fodder, the trade stays pretty even pending the outcome of Furbush's development.

Of course, the Mariners have starting pitching depth. Going into next season they'll still have Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan all with experience and some success. Aside from Furbush, the team has James Paxton and potentially Danny Hultzen moving up towards the majors by late 2012 or 2013.

If it weren't for that depth, this trade wouldn't excite me much at all. The club needs bats, though, so the addition of one now and one with upside for the future makes a push from an area of strength to an area of weakness acceptable.