The Detroit Tigers’ decision to trade Doug Fister was one of the more perplexing moves of this past offseason. General manager Dave Dombrowski maintained that the $7.2 million the 30-year-old Fister was in line to earn through arbitration could be used elsewhere–specifically, on a free-agent closer.
Two days later, the Tigers inked Joe Nathan to a two-year, $20 million contract. Somewhat predictably, the 39-year-old closer has fallen apart in 2014. Nathan has pitched to the tune of a 5.28 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 4.13 xFIP) and 1.92 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Still without a solution for the ninth inning, Dombrowski acquired Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Soria tossed 4.1 innings of 10.38 ERA-baseball until succumbing to a strained left abdominal. It’s quite possible the impending free agent will not throw another pitch in 2014.