Detroit acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi, minor league lefty
Robbie Ray and reliever Ian Krol for Fister, a 14-game winner for
the AL Central champions.
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said the trade
was not done to save money in hopes of keeping Max Scherzer beyond
"It gives us some flexibility for some other things we want to do,"
he said on a conference call.
Dombrowski said dealing Fister did not have anything to do with his
hope to give Scherzer, the AL Cy Young Award winner, a new contract
before he becomes a free agent following the 2014 season.
"I don't think that plays into it at all at this point," Dombrowski
Detroit has had an active offseason so far, and Dombrowski said he
isn't done making moves, saying his top priority is to add a closer.
The Tigers traded slugging first baseman Prince Fielder and his $214
million contract two weeks ago to the Texas Rangers in part to
potentially save more than $75 million, giving them even more
financial flexibility. They got second baseman Ian Kinsler for
Fielder in the swap of All-Stars.
They also allowed All-Star shortstop Jhonny Peralta to leave as a
free agent for St. Louis after replacing him during last season with
rookie Jose Iglesias just before Peralta was suspended for 50 games
in the Biogenesis drug scandal.
"We're not cutting payroll whatsoever," Dombrowski said.
The Tigers did agree to a $1 million, one-year contract with utility
player Don Kelly that avoids arbitration earlier Monday.
Kelly played six positions for the Tigers last season at all three
spots in the outfield along with third, second and first base while
hitting .222 with six homers and 23 RBIs.
Fister will likely replace Dan Haren in the Nationals' rotation and
join Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez.
The 29-year-old Fister was 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA last season and was
32-20 in two-plus seasons in Detroit, which acquired him in a trade
from the Seattle Mariners. He struck out an AL-record nine batters
in a row against the Kansas City Royals late in the 2012 season.
The 6-foot-8 Fister fared well in the postseason, even when he was
hit in the head by a line drive. He shook off the scary moment in
Game 2 of the 2012 World Series against San Francisco and took a
shutout bid into the seventh inning in what ended up being a 2-0
loss to the Giants. Over three postseasons with the Tigers, he had a
2.98 ERA in seven starts and a relief appearance.
"He's been a very solid pitcher for us since the day we got him,"
Dombrowski said. "He has pitched well in big games."
[to top of second column]
Dombrowski said he's not surprised at least some Tigers fans weren't
happy when they trade was announced because the team traded the
"known for the unknown."
"People in general don't like those type of
moves," he said.
The Tigers still have Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal
Sanchez atop their rotation.
"This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals," general
manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "We feel we've added a
talented, young veteran to our starting pitching corps. Doug is
battle-tested through playoff experiences, and the depth he
brings to our staff is exceptional. We are thrilled to welcome
The 22-year-old Ray was 6-3 with a 3.11 ERA for Class A Potomac
and was 5-2 with a 3.72 ERA for Double-A Harrisburg, giving the
Tigers a pitcher they think will start the season at Triple-A
Toledo with the ability to possibly pitch in the majors if
needed in 2014.
Krol made his major league debut in June for the Nationals after
they acquired him from Oakland. The 22-year-old lefty was 2-1
with a 3.95 ERA in 32 games in Washington.
The 25-year-old Lombardozzi hit .259 with two homers and 22 RBIs
in 118 games for the Nationals last season. The switch-hitting
sparkplug played 48 games at second base, 23 in left field and
four games at third base in 2013. He will replace Ramon Santiago
on Detroit's roster next season.
"This was not an easy trade for (the Nationals) to make,
either," Dombrowski said.
Washington went into the offseason hoping to add another starter
it could count after having some uneven results from Haren last
season and Edwin Jackson in 2012. Both of those right-handers
were seen as short-term solutions and they ended up leaving as
free agents after pitching for the Nationals for one season.
Haren essentially replaced Jackson. Fister now essentially
replaces Haren, who recently signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers
after going 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA for Washington.
Also, the Nationals and Ross Ohlendorf agreed to a $1.25
million, one-year contract. The right-hander went 4-1 with a
3.28 ERA in 16 games, seven starts, last season. The 30-year-old
Princeton star can earn up to $3 million in bonuses tied to
starts, innings pitched and relief appearances.
Press; LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer]
AP Sports Writer Howard
Fendrich contributed to this report.
Follow Larry Lage on
Copyright 2013 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.