Fister and Pauley traded

Mike Snow · July 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners have announced that Doug Fister and David Pauley have been traded to the Tigers for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, third-base prospect Francisco Martinez, and a player to be named later. Apparently the key to this deal was making sure both sides got equal upside potential for juvenile humor out of the names on the roster.

In terms of the value the team got out of the trade, it’s not half bad. Fister is, of course, a steady starter under team control for several more years, which is valuable, and the deal shows that teams know better than to pay attention to pitcher win-loss records. But he’s being traded at the point of maximum return, considering that he seems to have reached a level of performance that’s about the most optimistic anybody could have projected for him. If he sustains it, good for him and Detroit. Anyone still mourning what Erik Bedard could have brought back if not for last night’s disaster, well, the haul wouldn’t have been nearly as substantial. Pauley is a lesser piece, but he’s also being dealt at pretty much the peak of his value, and keep in mind that he was signed as a minor league free agent.

Wells effectively takes Jack Cust’s roster spot as the front office rebalances bats and arms. Defensively, he’s a corner outfielder with a good arm and the ability to not embarrass himself in center. His bat is decent but not special, making him look tailor-made to be a platoon partner and defensive replacement for Mike Carp. If it also means Greg Halman can go back to AAA when Wily Mo Pena joins the team, great. Expect to see a lot more rotation of guys between the outfield and DH, as this gives Wedge more flexibility to give somebody a day off, use platoon advantages, play the hot hand, or whatever he wants to do. It’s not anything spectacular, but it’s also not blindly writing Peguero’s name in the lineup card day after day.

As a lefty, Furbush sort of explains the Aaron Laffey transaction after last night’s game. He could go back to being a starter, which he’s been in the minors. Perhaps one of the benefits of having put together the currently solid rotation can become breaking in potential future rotation arms in the bullpen, often considered the optimal development path for young pitchers.

Martinez is 20 and already at AA, so promising in that sense, and matches up with the most glaring positional need on the roster. He pretty much hits all the boxes Zduriencik needed to hit to look like he got the “right” prospect back in the trade. Now we watch and hope he develops. The PTBNL is supposed to be a “significant” player, and you can look and see that the Tigers’ top three picks from last year’s draft signed at the deadline and are not eligible to be traded until mid-August, so amateur sleuthing kind of hints in that direction. A supplemental or 2nd-round pick would be decent value, but it also means we’re talking about a straight-to-the-bullpen arm or somebody who’s still in A-ball.

Overall, there’s enough for both sides to feel like they got a fair trade. What may be interesting to consider is how similar the basic outline of the trade is to the structure of the Cliff Lee deal. You have a highly valuable starter (valuable for different reasons, but still valuable) packaged with a more modest bullpen arm in exchange for four players. Obviously, there are differences in terms of the upside and major-league-readiness of the guys coming back to make the trades look different, but when teams are falling into the roles of “buyers” and “sellers” at the trade deadline, they often follow common patterns to match up with their roles.


11 Responses to “Fister and Pauley traded”

  1. cjseattle on July 30th, 2011 1:05 pm

    I had a feeling Fister would be the one to go. Pineda has too much upside to risk trading. Vargas always feels like he’s about to implode (especially for his future salary), and I’m sure other teams feel that. Bedard is so risky as to not really be worth much in trade, but we’ll find out by tomorrow how the league values him.

    I’m sad to see Fister go, as he’s been surprisingly good, but I’m happy to see that he was valued by another team. Good luck with the Tigers.

    I’m hoping we hold onto Bedard and he helps the last part of the season be a bit more enjoyable. I don’t want to jettison him for random AAA material. We have plenty of that right now.

  2. G-Man on July 30th, 2011 1:11 pm

    Regarding the PTBNL, Jack Z was on the pregame show, saying that he had a list f players to choose from and that he now had time to scout them thoroughly before deciding. So, maybe it isn’t one of those three deadline signees after all, or perhaps some or all of them are on the list with others.

  3. Steve Nelson on July 30th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Re the PTBNL. The date doesn’t mean the PTBNL has to be one of the guys who signed at the deadline. Occasionally teams making a trade will settle on a list of players that Team A can select from, pending additional scouting and evaluation. Those deals typically include a date by which the selection would be made.

    If that were done in this case and the list included at least one player who is not eligible to be traded until Aug. 17, Aug. 20 would be a logical date for the deadline to make a selection.

    If the Mariners decided earlier than Aug. 20 which player they wanted and the player was not subject to the one-year trade prohibition, the Mariners would make the selection.


    To me this seems likely since I suspect the Mariners would be more interested in receiving additional position player talent than pitching talent. Castellanos is unlikely to included in the deal, as he has been playing 3b and the Tigers are unlikely to deal two top 3b prospects in the same deal. Smyly and Ruffin are subject to the trade limitation, but they are both pitchers. So guys like Daniel Fields or Avisail Garcia (OFs) or Rob Brantly (C) could be in the picture, but the Mariners want more time to look them over along with one (or both) of the pitchers.

  4. Shawnuel on July 30th, 2011 1:20 pm

    One of the Tigers August 16, 2010 signees, Chance Ruffin, has already reached Detroit. That would be interesting and would allow Jack to feel more comfortable dealing League.

    I’m also all for keeping Bedard now. Perhaps yesterday’s suckitude helps us sign him next season at a more reasonable price and term……

  5. Westside guy on July 30th, 2011 1:29 pm

    It’s good to see Detroit wasn’t soured on dealing with Jack after the Washburn debacle…

    I realize there was no reason to expect Washburn to tank going into that trade, but I’m thinking how the casual Detroit fan may feel about it.

  6. jhum on July 30th, 2011 1:39 pm

    What’s the long-term difference between Beavan and Fister?

  7. ivan on July 30th, 2011 1:50 pm

    I have seen Furbush pitch on MLB-TV and against the Mariners, and I am bullish on the guy. They say his fastball is 91-92, and has touched 94, but I saw him throw it past people. It has a lot of movement. At 25, and 2 1/2 years past Tommy John surgery, it could be that Furbush, at 6′ 5″, might still add 2-3 MPH to it.

    He has a funky delivery that appears designed to keep hitters off balance, and his minor league record shows a high K rate. He has been a starter and could compete for a rotation spot.

    Wells is an improvement over what they had in LF. Having him should free Carp and Pena to platoon at DH, which should upgrade DH significantly.

    Fister made great strides in the past year. I think he still has upside and I’m sorry to see him leave, but from what I have seen (admittedly small sample) from Furbush, my best guess for now is that Seattle got equal or better value from this trade.

  8. Ichirolling51 on July 30th, 2011 2:45 pm

    There’s a lot of speculation on the Tigers’ boards on CBS Sports that the PTBNL is one of their top catching prospects. Me, I’d take their 3B that they drafted last year. He seems to be almost big-league ready. And has hit well in the minors so far.

  9. Steve Nelson on July 30th, 2011 5:01 pm

    Ichirolling51 on July 30th, 2011 2:45 pm

    I’d take their 3B that they drafted last year. He seems to be almost big-league ready.

    I think anyone in the Mariners would take Castellanos in less than a heartbeat as well. But on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), the likelihood that Castellanos is an option in the deal is about -23.

  10. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2011 9:54 pm

    I think anyone in the Mariners would take Castellanos in less than a heartbeat as well. But on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), the likelihood that Castellanos is an option in the deal is about -23.

    So, you’re saying there’s a chance?! Seriously, Castellanos can’t possibly be in the mix, unless there’s some internal issues we’re not aware of. I’m ok with this deal, no matter which of the three we land (assuming that’s the case).

  11. scott19 on July 31st, 2011 2:23 pm

    I was kinda surprised to see the Tigers trade for a guy who, in some ways, is similar to Rick Porcello…but I think Fister will do pretty well in an environment where there’s at least some runs being scored.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.