Doug Fister Rumors
Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements -- those worth less than $4MM -- right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.
Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB...
- The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM). Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
- The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
- Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
- The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
- The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
- The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
- The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
- The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
- The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
- The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter). Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
- The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
- The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter.
- The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
- The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.
- The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
- Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).
Clayton Kershaw's salary jumped from $500K to $7.5MM this year, and it wasn't just because of his Cy Young performance. Kershaw qualified for arbitration for the first time in his career over the winter, so he obtained the right to establish his salary by comparing his production to that of his peers.
Though $7MM raises are reserved for elite performers like Kershaw, many first-time eligible starting pitchers will see their salaries rise from $500K or so to $2-4.5MM this coming offseason. A player’s case depends in large part on his career numbers, but his most recent season, or platform year, matters a great deal.
Advanced statistics like xFIP, wins above replacement and swinging strike rate don't generally figure in to arbitration cases. Instead, traditional stats such as innings, starts, wins and ERA determine players' salaries.
With one third of the season now complete, let’s check in on the prominent starting pitchers on track to be first-time arbitration eligible this coming offseason:
Injuries have limited Jhoulys Chacin, Doug Fister, Marco Estrada, Chris Narveson and Neftali Feliz. All of these pitchers are on the disabled list, none of them are on pace to complete 150 innings, and three of them -- Estrada, Fister and Chacin -- remain winless.
Phil Humber and Tommy Hunter have stayed healthy, but they’re off to disappointing starts that include losing records and ERAs above 5.50. The homer-prone Hunter is pitching at Triple-A, and could soon be recalled. The collective bargaining recognizes special accomplishments, and Humber's perfect game definitely qualifies, so his representatives at Moye Sports Associates could play it up should the sides go to a hearing. Yet there's no clear conversion rate in place to help value Humber's perfecto.
Brian Matusz and Ross Detwiler both spent considerable time in the minor leagues last year, but they've responded with solid seasons to date. Both will head to arbitration with losing records, however, and Matusz's career ERA sits at 5.32.
Bud Norris, Ian Kennedy, Tommy Hanson, Mat Latos and, to a lesser extent, Mike Leake all entered the season with the bulk innings totals that often lead to generous salaries in arbitration. All five pitchers continue piling up innings, though Leake, Latos and Norris have ERAs above 4.50. The pitchers in this group figure to be compared against one another over and over this coming winter.
Former top prospects Jeff Samardzija and James McDonald (pictured) are enjoying breakout seasons. Both right-handers have career-best walk rates and are averaging one strikeout per inning. If they can keep this up -- or at least come reasonably close to doing so -- their paychecks will reflect the improvements in 2013 and beyond. Unfortunately for Samardzija, starters Rick Porcello and David Price didn't seem to be able to use their generous pre-arbitration salaries to boost their arbitration earnings this past offseason, so his current $2.64MM salary probably won't help much.
It's early enough for the fortunes of these pitchers to change dramatically. Feliz could return to the bullpen, Fister could replicate last year's second half success, or Samardzija could regress. But, ten-plus starts into the season, these pitchers' platform seasons have started taking shape.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire. Stats via Baseball-Reference.com. Note that Derek Holland and Jonathon Niese signed extensions covering what would have been their first arb years. Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg and Daniel Hudson are expected to fall just shy of super two eligibility, though that's not official.
- The Tigers have talked to some baseball people who are "convinced" Detroit will trade for another starting pitcher by Opening Day, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (Twitter link). We heard last week that the Tigers were keeping an eye out for potential fifth starter candidates, though the club was also comfortable in using one of their current pitchers at the end of the rotation.
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland reiterated his support of his in-house pitching possibilities, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. "If we go outside [the organization], it's going to have to be [for] somebody better than what we have here," Leyland said. "We truly believe that we've got the guy," Leyland said. "Who it is, I don't know." Jacob Turner, Duane Below, Adam Wilk and Andy Oliver are among Detroit's internal candidates.
- From that same item, the Tigers announced they have renewed the contracts of Alex Avila, Doug Fister and Austin Jackson for the 2012 season. All three players will be eligible for arbitration for the first time next winter, and you'd think at least Avila and Fister will be extension candidates if they repeat their 2011 performances. Detroit now has its entire 40-man roster under contract for 2012.
A few items of note regarding teams from MLB's Central divisions, as the Cards fall behind the Phils in Game 1 of the NLDS.
- The Tigers preferred Doug Fister to Ubaldo Jimenez when they were shopping for a pitcher before the trade deadline, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Whether that's true, we'll probably never know, but Fister certainly pitched better for Detroit than Jimenez did for Cleveland after the deadline. The Mariners were originally hesitant to move Fister, according to Knobler, but Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski was persistent in pursuing the right-hander.
- The Reds tried to acquire Hunter Pence from the Astros, according to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, and GM Walt Jocketty has said he thought he made a better offer to Houston than the one it eventually accepted from the Phillies. McCoy reports that the Astros wanted Devin Mesoraco and adds that lefty Aroldis Chapman was not available.
- The Cubs remain in limbo while waiting to hire a new general manager, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, who notes that the fates of manager Mike Quade, his coaches, and several players are up in the air until someone takes the helm. The Cubs are unlikely to spend lavishly this offseason, according to Sullivan.
The odds say the Red Sox have a 94.5% chance of making the playoffs, but I'm guessing that's not going to console most Red Sox fans. Boston leads Tampa Bay by three games in the Wild Card race, but that gap might have been wider by now if they had made different moves at the trade deadline. Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the details on the deadline deals that didn't happen...
- When the Red Sox made cursory inquiries about Doug Fister, it became clear that the Mariners were aiming high and looking for a right-handed bat. Since joining the Tigers, Fister has a 2.28 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 51 1/3 impressive innings.
- The Red Sox were set to acquire Rich Harden from the A’s, but once they looked at his medical records, they were no longer willing to include both Lars Anderson and a player to be named. The PTBNL would have come from a list of high-upside players in the lower minors.
- Raul Alcantara, an 18-year-old Dominican who signed for $500K in 2009 and Brandon Workman, a second round pick in last year’s draft, would have been on the list.
- The Red Sox also kicked around the idea of acquiring Harden’s former teammate, Brad Ziegler, who ended up going to Arizona.
- The Padres weren’t thrilled with Boston’s prospects, so Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein never came close to completing deals for Mike Adams or other Padres relievers.
- The Orioles and Red Sox never exchanged names regarding a possible Koji Uehara deal.
Let's take a look at a few items out of the American League Central division..
- It's time for the White Sox to move on from Ozzie Guillen and work out a deal with the Marlins for him, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Guillen has long been linked to the Fish and it's unlikely that octogenarian Jack McKeon will return next season.
- The Tigers appear to be the biggest trade deadline winners so far, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Since joining the Tigs, right-hander Doug Fister has a 2.97 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 0.5 BB/9 in six starts.
- In today's mailbag, a reader asks Baseball America's Jim Callis if the Royals will still have a top ten farm system in 2012 after several players made their major league debuts this season. Callis says that despite spending $14.1MM on the draft this year, Kansas City might not have more than four prospects in BA's top 100 next season, putting them outside of the top ten.
We've seen dozens of deals completed this month. To help you make sense of it all, here are some reactions to the moves from around MLB...
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan breaks down the deadline for all 30 teams. The Astros might receive Passan's harshest criticism. Passan's response to this morning's Michael Bourn trade: "To send him to Atlanta without getting at least Mike Minor or Randall Delgado, let alone Julio Teheran or Arodys Vizcaino, shows a deep misunderstanding by GM Ed Wade of the proper way to rebuild." Ouch.
- The Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Giants and Mets are winners for ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Yankees, Angels, Reds and Cubs are losers, Stark writes. The Astros face harsh criticism once again: "They're basically starting to shape themselves for 2015," one NL executive told Stark. "It's almost like they're doing an expansion team."
- Brian Sabean (Giants), Jon Daniels (Rangers), Dan O'Dowd (Rockies) and Jed Hoyer (Padres) are among the general managers on Jim Bowden's list of top deadline deal-makers at ESPN.com.
- In a separate piece, Passan looks back at flameout rates for pitching prospects and concludes that the Indians made a great deal in acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez for a package of players including Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.
- One front office polled its members about winners and losers and the Rangers were the unanimous top choice, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says Rafael Furcal is an upgrade for the Cardinals at short because St. Louis didn't have any legitimate alternatives. Furcal, Law writes, is an average defender with a plus arm.
- The Mariners did well to acquire Charlie Furbush, Francisco Martinez, Casper Wells and one of the Tigers' top three picks from the 2010 draft for David Pauley and Doug Fister, who benefit from spacious Safeco Field, Law writes.
- Law says the Mariners did well to obtain Trayvon Robinson for two months of Erik Bedard and Josh Fields ("a throw-in"), but he isn't sure what the Dodgers were doing in this deal.
- The Rangers' bullpen will be substantially better with Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Law writes at ESPN.com. San Diego gets Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland from the Rangers, two pitchers who "make up in probability for what they might lack in upside."
3:51pm: The player to be named later in this trade is one of the Tigers' top three picks from the 2010 draft, tweets ESPN's Shannon Drayer. That means Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin, or Drew Smyly. I'm guessing Ruffin or Smyly.
12:08pm: The Tigers added pitching today, acquiring starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley from the Mariners for third baseman Francisco Martinez, outfielder Casper Wells, southpaw Charlie Furbush, and a player to be named later. The Tigers have Fister for the long haul, as he's under team control through 2015 and isn't arbitration eligible until after next season. Both teams have confirmed the trade.
Fister, 27, has a 3.33 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, and 46.4% groundball rate in 146 innings this year. The big righty's walk rate ranks seventh in the AL, his innings total tenth. His 6.95 innings per start average is a welcome contrast from the Tigers' non-Verlander starters, who all average around six. Drafted in the seventh round in 2006, Fister (pictured) never cracked a Baseball America top 30 Mariners prospect list, but he's become a solid mid-rotation innings eater. The acquisition sets up the Tigers' front four starters beyond this season, with Brad Penny eligible for free agency but Fister, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello under team control.
Pauley, 28, has a 2.15 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.33 HR/9, and 49.0% groundball rate in 54 1/3 relief innings for Seattle this year. His relief innings total ranks second in the American League. He's potentially under team control through 2015 as well. Pauley adds depth to the Tigers' bullpen with righty Al Alburquerque battling elbow inflammation. Those holding Pauley in fantasy leagues can probably cut bait, explains Dan Mennella of CloserNews.
Martinez, 20, is currently with the Tigers' Double-A club. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Tigers prospects prior to the season, noting he's always played against older competition and has projection remaining.
Wells, 26, is hitting .257/.323/.451 in 125 plate appearances for the Tigers. A right-handed hitter, Wells can play all three outfield positions. Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked Wells 19th among Tigers prospects, explaining that "his holes at the plate will limit him to being a role player in the big leagues."
Furbush, a 25-year-old rookie, has a 3.62 ERA in 32 1/3 innings this year, mostly in relief. This year at Triple-A he posted a 3.17 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 1.2 HR/9 in 54 innings. Baseball America ranked him 26th among Tigers prospects prior to the season, noting that the Tommy John survivor used deception to rack up strikeouts in the minors. Furbush lacks a true plus pitch, according to BA. As for the player to be named later, he'll be chosen from a group of three on or before August 20th according to Jon Paul Morosi.
10:40am: Larry Stone of the Seattle Times tweets that the Mariners will also get a player to be named later, and it could be a "pretty significant name." The Tigers may make one more trade before tomorrow, tweets Jon Paul Morosi.
10:03am: The Tigers acquired Fister, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
9:05am: Lefty Charlie Furbush is among the players expected to go to Seattle in a Fister trade, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Tigers are trying to get a reliever other than Brandon League as well.
Fister, 27, has a 3.33 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, and 46.4% groundball rate in 146 innings this year. His walk rate ranks seventh in the AL, his innings total tenth. His 6.95 innings per start average is a welcome contrast from the Tigers' non-Verlander starters, who all average around six. Drafted in the seventh round in 2006, Fister never cracked a Baseball America top 30 Mariners prospect list, but he's become a solid mid-rotation innings eater. He's under team control through 2015 and won't be arbitration eligible until after next season.
The Tigers are looking for starters and relievers. Here's the latest on their trade talks:
- Scouts tell Yahoo's Jeff Passan that the Tigers are dangling lefty Andy Oliver on a number of trade fronts including Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis (Twitter link).
- The Tigers and Mariners are engaged in active trade talks, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Detroit is interested in Doug Fister and a reliever.
- The Tigers are more interested in right-handed relief than left-handed relief, according to Morosi (on Twitter).