David Pauley Rumors
The Tigers opened the 2011 season with a rotation that consisted of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Phil Coke and Brad Penny. With the non-Verlanders of that group (particularly Coke and Penny) underperforming, the team sought help for the back end of the rotation in July.
They got that help by acquiring Doug Fister (and reliever David Pauley) from the Mariners in exchange for four players: 20-year-old third baseman Francisco Martinez, 26-year-old outfielder Casper Wells, 25-year-old southpaw Charlie Furbush and a player to be named later that would be 22-year-old right-hander Chance Ruffin.
It's hard to believe that the Tigers, Mariners or even Fister himself were prepared for the results of this trade, so let's look at it on a player-by-player level...
The Major League Side
- Doug Fister: Fister was 27 at the time of the trade and had less than two years of Major League service time. He'd been solid but not spectacular in his brief career, as he was the owner of a 3.81 ERA, 5.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 378 innings for the Mariners. He was in the midst of his best season when he was dealt, having pitched to a 3.33 ERA in 146 1/3 innings. Fister channeled his inner Greg Maddux upon arriving in Detroit though, allowing just 14 earned runs with a 57-to-5 K/BB ratio in 70 1/3 innings for the AL Central champs. He's significantly upped his strikeout rate in Detroit, and all told he's given them 232 innings of 2.95 ERA ball with a 7.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. Fangraphs pegs Fister's tenure in Detroit at a whopping 5.8 wins above replacement. He's under control for another three seasons and is set to earn $4MM this year after being eligible for arbitration for the first time this past winter.
- David Pauley: Pauley is perhaps the forgotten man in this trade, although there's probably a reason for that. The right-hander threw just 19 2/3 innings for the Tigers after the trade, allowing 10 runs on 26 hits and six walks with just 10 strikeouts. Pauley was ulimately released by the Tigers the following spring and appeared in just 16 2/3 innings for the Angels and Blue Jays last year.
- Charlie Furbush: Furbush floundered in Seattle's rotation in 2011, posting a 6.62 ERA in 10 starts. He thrived when moved to a bullpen role in 2012, however, thanks in large part to trading his curveball-changeup mix for a devastating slider to complement his heater. A triceps strain cost him a month of action last season, but when he was healthy he dominated lefties (.404 OPS) and held right-handed hitters in check as well (.637 OPS). Furbush can be a key bullpen piece in Seattle for a long time; he's not eligible for arbitration until the 2014-15 offseason, and he's under team control through 2017.
- Casper Wells: Wells brought a good amount of power and some excellent defense to the Mariners. He clubbed 17 homers in addition to a .225/.304/.406 batting line (102 OPS+) and was eight runs above average in 893 innings for Seattle, per The Fielding Bible. Wells is capable of handling all three outfield positions, but the Mariners made the questionable decision to designate him for assignment last week to give Jason Bay a chance.
The Prospect Side
- Francisco Martinez: Martinez was ranked as the Tigers' No. 4 prospect heading into the 2011 season, per Baseball America. He had reached Double-A at just 20 years of age -- a rare feat that was a testament to the "live-bodied, athletic" label that BA slapped on him. He hit .310/.326/.481 for the Mariners' Double-A affiliate in 2011 following the trade, prompting BA to rank him as the team's No. 6 prospect entering 2012. BA praised his bat speed, stating that he "all the raw tools to fit the profile of an everyday third baseman, with the added bonus of plus speed." Martinez took a huge step backward in 2012, however, hitting just .227/.315/.295 in his second Double-A stint. He's dropped to No. 22 on BA's list of Top 30 Mariners prospects and No. 19 according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The Mariners tried Martinez in center field for 15 games in 2012 because of his plus speed, and Mayo notes that he'll play there exclusively in 2013. Mayo also points out that despite Martinez's struggles in 2012, he did improve his plate discipline -- an area in which he'd previously struggled. He'll repeat Double-A in 2013, which isn't as grim as it sounds when considering he just turned 22 in September.
- Chance Ruffin: Ruffin had to be included as a PTBNL because he had been selected by the Tigers in the 2010 draft (48th overall). He had entered the 2011 season as the Tigers' No. 7 prospect, per BA, and he carried the same designation with the Mariners into the 2012 season. Ruffin actually pitched 14 innings for Seattle in 2011 (3.86 ERA, 15-to-9 K/BB ratio) but reported to Triple-A in 2012. The results were ugly. The Texas alum posted a gruesome 5.99 ERA in 70 2/3 innings and saw his K/9 plummet from 11.1 to 6.9, while his BB/9 increased to 4.5. The brutal season was enough to drop him off Mayo's Top 20 list and knock him back to 27th on BA's Top 30 entering the 2013 season. BA cites erosion of his solid command in college and inconsitent mechanics as the reason for his downfall: "He lands on a stiff front leg and throws across his body, hurting his ability to locate his pitches where he wants. His long arm swing in the back and lower release point make it easy for lefthanders to pick up his pitches, and they hit .294/.348/.516 against him last year." The good news is that BA still likes his stuff, praising a 90-93 mph fastball that can touch 95 mph when needed and a plus slider with late break, which BA calls a true out pitch.
It's easy to see why the Tigers look like big winners in this trade, as the two key pieces of the deal for the Mariners have both taken large steps backward in their development. However, Martinez won't be 23 until September -- the same month in which Ruffin will turn 25 -- and the team does seem to have a solid bullpen piece already at the Major League level in Furbush. Martinez won't be at such a large age disadvantage in the Southern League this year, which could benefit his numbers. Ruffin will also open the season at Double-A as the Mariners plan to convert him to a starting pitcher (hat tip: Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune).
At the time of the trade, ESPN's Keith Law wrote that the Mariners did well to acquire such a strong package for Fister and Pauley, but clearly the scales have tipped in Detroit's favor. A rebound from Martinez or successful to transition to starting for Ruffin would make this trade look fair, but even if that happens I doubt you'll ever hear the Tigers or their fans complaining about the Doug Fister trade.
Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Mariners have signed David Pauley to a minor league deal, reports Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Radio Seattle (Twitter link). This is the right-hander's second stint with the M's, after being dealt from Seattle to Detroit as part of the Doug Fister trade last July. Pauley was released by the Tigers in Spring Training and had short stints with the Angels and Blue Jays earlier this season.
Pauley, who turned 29 last month, has a 6.48 ERA and a 14.6 H/9 rate in 16 2/3 innings with the Angels and Jays this season. Pauley's best stretch as a Major Leaguer came during his previous stint in Seattle, when he posted a 3.35 ERA in 145 innings with the Mariners between 2010-11.
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Blue Jays signed right-hander Chris Jakubauskas, according to the team's website. Jakubauskas, 33, appeared in 33 games for the 2011 Orioles, posting a 5.72 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 72 1/3 innings.
- Right-hander David Pauley elected free agency last week, according to the Blue Jays' site. The Blue Jays removed Pauley from their roster seven days ago after he made five appearances for the team.
- The Royals released catcher Ryan Eigsti from Triple-AA Omaha, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Eigsti, 26, appeared in 11 games for the Royals' top affiliate this year. He has a .213/.310/.322 batting line in parts of six minor league seasons.
Pauley, 29, was designated for assignment by the Angels on two different occasions earlier this year. The Jays picked him up off waivers on June 20, following his second DFA. The right-hander appeared in just four games for Toronto, allowing seven runs in 6 1/3 innings (three of those runs came over three innings in tonight's game).
The Blue Jays were Pauley's fifth Major League team. He's seen time with the Mariners, Red Sox, Tigers, and Angels as well, pitching to a 4.68 ERA in 209 2/3 career innings.
The Blue Jays announced that they claimed right-hander David Pauley off of waivers from the Angels. Toronto's 40-man roster is now full.
Two days ago the Angels designated Pauley for assignment for the second time in as many months. The 29-year-old has appeared in five MLB games this year and has a career ERA of 4.51 with 5.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 47.7% ground ball rate. The Blue Jays have lost three fifths of their starting rotation to injuries, so Pauley will be a welcome addition to John Farrell's bullpen.
The 29-year-old Pauley appeared in five games for the Angels this season, totaling a 4.35 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of work. He struck out just four batters while walking three (one intentional) and allowing a whopping 16 hits. Pauley, typically known as a groundball pitcher, induced them at just a 29.3% clip in this season's small sample.
For his career, he sports a 4.51 ERA (which matches his 4.51 FIP exactly), 5.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 47.7% groundball rate over 203 1/3 Major League innings. In addition to the Angels, he's seen time with the Mariners, Red Sox, and Tigers.
The latest outright assignments from around baseball...
- The Angels outrighted David Pauley to Triple-A after the reliever cleared waivers, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports (on Twitter). The Angels designated Pauley for assignment earlier this week after he allowed 15 hits and five earned runs in 9 1/3 innings to start the season..
THURSDAY: The Angels designated Pauley for assignment, DiGiovanna tweets.
WEDNESDAY: The Angels are expected to designate reliever David Pauley for assignment tomorrow, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). The move will allow the club to call up infielder Andrew Romine from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Pauley, 28, has appeared in just 9.1 innings for the Halos in 2012. The right-hander signed a minor league deal with the Angels late in the offseason after turning down a similar offer from the Blue Jays because he felt that he'd have more opportunities to pitch.
In parts of five big league seasons, Pauley has a 4.54 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- The Rays' success with low-budget acquisitions stands out in contrast to other teams' lack of return on expensive free agents, writes Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays had a modest offseason and have baseball's second-best record, while Shelton notes the Marlins have only a .500 record after spending big last winter.
- Rays ownership's patience with the Andrew Friedman/Matt Silverman/Joe Maddon management team is a big reason why Tampa Bay has become a consistent contender, writes MLB.com's Bill Chastain.
- The Blue Jays offered David Pauley a minor league contract in March, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Pauley decided to sign with the Angels instead since "there was an opportunity to come and play" in Los Angeles.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "deserves a lot of credit" for Edwin Encarnacion's success in 2012, manager John Farrell tells MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. "[Anthopoulos] is the one that has talked about him repeatedly, and consistently, with the belief that there is an above-average offensive player in there," Farrell said.
- Tsuyoshi Wada has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list, the Orioles announced today. The move creates space on the 40-man roster for right-hander Stu Pomeranz (brother of Rockies' hurler Drew Pomeranz), who had his contract selected from Triple-A. Wada is set to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
- Fangraphs' Matt Klaassen looks at J.J. Hardy as "an excellent trade chip," though the Orioles' decision to move Hardy or any other veterans has been impacted by the club's surprising rise to the top of the standings.
- The Yankees might be wise to retain impending free agent Nick Swisher, opines Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog, though signing him could be difficult given the Yankees' plan to fit their payroll under the luxury tax threshold by 2014.
- For more on the Bronx Bombers, check out this collection of Yankees notes compiled earlier today by MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith.
The Angels have signed David Pauley to a minor league contract, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). The Octagon client did not receive an invitation to Spring Training according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
Pauley, 28, was released by the Tigers earlier this month. He posted a 3.16 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 74 innings across 53 relief outings for the Mariners and Tigers in 2011. Detroit acquired Pauley from Seattle in the trade that sent Doug Fister to Detroit. He is not yet arbitration eligible.