Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mariners trade Fister and Pauley to Tigers for four prospects

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners with their recent losing streak were going to be sellers at this trade deadline. What surprised Mariners fans is that they traded two guys who aren't expensive at all in starting pitcher Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley. The Mariners under general manager Jack Zduriencik are hoping that these four prospects from the Detroit Tigers can turn into something special down the line. The Mariners acquired outfielder Casper Wells, pitcher Charlie Furbush, 20 year old third base prospect Francisco Martinez and a player to be named later who is thought to be one of the Tigers top draft picks from the 2010 draft. The Mariners are hoping that Martinez can develope into the third baseman of the future while Wells gives them a much needed upgrade in left field. This won't be a popular trade as Fister despite his record had the lowest ERA on the team and was the Mariners most consistent starting pitcher. The Tigers have acquired two good arms from the Mariners in hoping they can do more for them than Jarrod Washburn did two years ago.

What the Mariners gave up to the Tigers were two solid cheap arms in Fister and Pauley. On the year Fister in 21 starts is only 3-12 but has thrown 146 innings(7 innings a start) while having a 3.33 ERA. Fister hasn't received any run support this year. He has thrown three complete games and has a WHIP of 1.17 with 89 strikeouts to 32 walks. Fister for the year has a 2.8 WAR which is pretty good. He is also under club control for several seasons. The other guy the Tigers are acquiring is setup man David Pauley who was flirting with an all-star season for most of the year. Pauley on the year has pitched in 39 games posting a 5-4 record while pitching 54.1 innings with a 2.15 ERA. Pauley also has a 0.99 WHIP with 34 strikeouts to 16 walks. He also has a 1.7 WAR which is extremely high for a reliever considering all-star closer Brandon League has just 0.4 on the season. The Tigers are acquiring two solid pitchers for four youngsters.

The Mariners aren't stupid they are selling high on both players while they can. The Mariners signed Pauley to a minor league deal and before this year he was a nobody. As for Fister he is a back of the rotation starter and it hurts to lose him the Mariners did receive four players in return. Let's start off with outfield Casper Wells who is 26 years old. Wells this season for the Detroit Tigers is hitting .257/.323/.451 in 113 AB's on the year. He has 4 HR's with 12 RBI's and 16 runs scored on the season. Wells has 29 strikeouts to 9 walks though which is a concern. He is a good defensive outfielder and can provide a nice platoon in left field and fill in for Franklin Gutierrez if he continues to slump. In his minor league career Wells hit .252/.342/.494 in 1,715 AB's with 81 HR's(HR every 21.2 AB's). He struck out 487 times(28.3%) to 181 walks(10.5) which isn't that great. Wells is worth 1.0 WAR so far on the year which is a major improvement over what the Mariners have received in left field.

The other prospects the Mariners received were Charlie Furbush and Francisco Martinez not to mention a high draft pick of the Tigers from the 2010 draft. First with the 25 year old Furbush he is a 6'5" left handed pitcher who is in the bullpen but has started in the minors. This year for the Tigers in 17 games including two starts Furbush is 1-3 with 32.1 inning pitched while posting a 3.62 ERA. He also has a 1.54 WHIP with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks this year for the Tigers. In the minor leagues Furbush has pitched in 73 games including 69 starts where he is 25-20 having thrown 386 innings with an ERA of 3.71. He has a career WHIP of 1.18 WHIP with 406 strikeouts to 32 walks. Furbush will be the lefty out of the pen for the Mariners this year and compete for a starting rotation spot next year or this year if Erik Bedard is dealt. The main prospect is Martinez who is only 20 years old and in double A. Martinez career minor league line is .277/.329/.361 in 1,108 career at bats. He has just 13 home runs(HR ever 85.2 AB's) with 220 strikeouts(19.8%) to 80 walks(7.2%) which is horrible. This year though he is hitting .282/.319/.405 in 348 AB's with 7 HR's(HR ever 49.7 AB's). He has struck out 80 times(22.9%) to just 19 walks(5.4%) which is Carlos Peguero like. I'm not liking what the Mariners got for what they gave up.

In conclusion, I think the Mariners are taking a major risk on this trade. It will all depend who that player to be named later turns out to be because these three players don't excite me. You have two mid 20's guys who have average minor league stats who are in the major leagues. The big prospect is Martinez who has a K's to BB's ratio as piss poor as Peguero. I hope Zduriencik didn't make this trade out of desperation to keep his job by showing he's trying to improve the offense. Finding innings eater on the cheap like Fister is and is going to be is hard to find. Take Jason Vargas for an example he'll be making over 5 million dollars next year while Fister wouldn't even make a million. The Tigers have to be smiling as they improved their starting rotation and bullpen without giving up their key prospects. The Mariners are banking on Martinez developing into a solid third baseman down the line. As it looks right now today it appears the Mariners got burnt badly in this trade. I guess we'll wait and see down the line but right now today the Mariners fans can't be happy with this deal.

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