The Nationals sent infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed pitcher Ian Krol and minor league lefty Robbie Ray to the Tigers.
"This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals," 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 him aboard."
Fister, 29, finished 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 33 regular-season games (32 starts) for Detroit in 2013. He also went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two postseason starts.
Since joining the Tigers in a July 2011 deal that sent pitcher Charlie Furbush and reliever Casper Wells to the Seattle Mariners, Fister compiled a 32-20 record with a 3.29 ERA in 70 games (68 starts). Over 2 1/2 seasons in Seattle, Fister went 12-30 with a 3.81 ERA in 60 games (59 starts).
2013: 86-76, second place in NL East
TEAM MVP: When this team was struggling to score runs and get hits, RF Jayson Werth was the only one that was consistently hitting. His importance as a leader, a mentor for Bryce Harper and his defense in right field cannot be understated. But dating back to his game-winning, walk-off home run in game four of the divisional series against the Cardinals last season was a clear cut example of the power of Werth has in making this franchise successful. That continued this season with big hits in big games and at times when the team was struggling to get anything going.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: RHP Dan Haren would be the first to admit that 14 losses were too much to help the Nationals win this season. Signed to a one-year contract, the Nationals were hoping Haren would solidify the end of the rotation. On Sept. 28, against his former team, the Diamondbacks, Haren threw seven scoreless innings and picked up his 10th win. When he was bad, he had trouble locating his fastball, and allowed a ton of home runs. But when Haren was good, he was really good. Haren did much better after the All-Star break and after being shut down mid-season with a shoulder ailment.
TOP PROSPECT: RHP Taylor Jordan went from Class A to Double-A all the way to the majors because of his top of the line stuff and an innate ability to repeat his delivery. Jordan will not have an innings limit next season and has a good shot to make the rotation as the fifth starter.
--LHP Jerry Blevins was acquired by the Nationals from the A's in a Dec. 11 trade that sent minor league OF Billy Burns to Oakland. Blevins, 30, went 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 67 appearances for the A's this year. Over seven major league seasons, all with Oakland, the lefty specialist is 13-6 with two saves and a 3.30 ERA.
Burns, 24, hit a combined .315/.425/.383 with 74 stolen bases in 121 games in Class A and Double-A this year.
"He's one of the best runners in the minor leagues, from both a speed and stolen-base standpoint." A's assistant GM David Forst told MLB.com.
--OF Nate McLouth agreed to a two-year deal with the Nationals that will pay him $10.75 million. McLouth, 32, hit .258 with 12 homers and 30 stolen bases in 146 games for the Baltimore Orioles this past season.
--LHP Fernando Abad was traded by the Nationals to the A's on Nov. 25 in exchange for minor league OF John Wooten. Abad, 27, was 0-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 37 2/3 innings for Washington in 2013. Wooten, 22, hit .257 with 20 homers in 133 games at low Class A this year.
--RHP Chris Young, who spent the entire 2013 season in the Nationals' farm system while dealing with injuries, re-signed with Washington on a minor league deal. Young, 34, went a combined 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA in nine starts for three teams in the Washington organization this year. In his last major league action, he went 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 starts for the Mets in 2012. For his career, Young is 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA in 159 starts for the Rangers, Padres and Mets.
--INF Mauro Gomez was released by the Nationals on Nov. 14, and he reportedly will play in Japan next year. He was claimed by Washington off waivers from Toronto in September, but he didn't appear in the majors this year for either team. Gomez, 29, hit .275 in 37 games for Boston in 2012, his only major league action. He batted .249/.322/.521 with 29 homers and 73 RBIs in 110 games for the Blue Jays' Triple-A Buffalo affiliate this year.
--INF Chris Marrero was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse on Oct. 24. In eight major league games this year, Marrero went 2-for-16 with one RBI.
--SS Ian Desmond has made big steps forward in his consistency defensively again this season and continued with one of the hottest bats on the squad. Desmond was always a player that manager Davey Johnson loved to watch play because he always gives 100 percent and never takes a play off. "Desi is one of our core players," general manager Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post. "He's one of our leaders on the team. If there's a deal out there that we can get done that keeps him here for the long-term, it would be certainly up there on the priority list."
--LF Bryce Harper's athletic ability, especially as it related to showcasing his arm out of right field, are a big part of the strength of this team. Despite injuries to his hip and knee running into outfield walls in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Harper stuck with it all season and learned that he must be careful with the way he treats his body on big defensive chances if he is going to play season after season in the bigs.
--RHP Stephen Strasburg won only eight games but mentally got better at not letting early mistakes on uncontrollable weather conditions alter how he pitched later in games. This allowed him to pitch longer in games and will help him to pace himself in each start going forward. Catcher Wilson Ramos was the first to notice how Strasburg learned to calm himself down during games and not let a walk or freak play early in a game take him out of the focus he needed to go into the late innings.
--3B Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder concerns continued until August and September when the veteran finished with a flourish and got to at least 24 home runs for the fourth time in his last five seasons. It will help him in 2014 if he can go a whole season without having to worry about his shoulder strength and quiet talk a possible move to first base.
--2B Anthony Rendon proved he can hit in the big leagues and now just needs to refine his defense at second base. With the consistency the youngster was able to show for a good portion of the season, Danny Espinosa is very likely a trade candidate. "Rendon has played remarkably well at that position for a guy who is learning defensively at the major league level and trying to hit for the first time at the major league level," general manager Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post.
--C Wilson Ramos can show the kind of power he demonstrated in the latter stages of August and September from the beginning of next season and not have to worry about lingering hamstring injuries that stunted his 2013 campaign. If that happens, the Nationals lineup will be the complete eight top hitters general manager Mike Rizzo had envisioned heading into the season.
--CF Denard Span's 29-game hitting streak was a highlight for the team as they surged to get back into the wild-card race in September. It also was a signal that Span was getting comfortable against National League pitching and he will become a strong asset at the top of the order heading into 2014.
--Manager Davey Johnson ended his 17-year managerial career with a record of 1,372-1,071 after the Nationals' 3-2 loss to Arizona in his final regular season game. Johnson, 70, is a two-time manager of the year, with Baltimore (1997) and Washington (2012). He won World Series as a player with Baltimore (1966, 1970) and as a manager with the New York Mets (1986). Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said he would like Johnson to serve as a consultant during spring training. "I'm really lucky I've had the big league experiences I've had as a manager and a player," Johnson said. "When you love the game as much as I love this game and like the competition, you just enjoy it. Hopefully you can pass that on to other players and managers, give something back. It's been quite a journey." Johnson, who took over the Nationals in mid-June 2011 and led them to the NL East title in 2012, became the 15th manager in major league history to finish at least 300 games over .500. "It's not like I'm dying tomorrow," Johnson said when asked to reflect on his career. "Good lord. There'll be something I can do."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They battled hard. I thanked them a lot for all the effort. I know they are in a good place going forward. I feel good about them." -- Manager Davey Johnson, on the state of the Nationals as he retires.
No major roster overhaul is needed in what should be a powerful offensive lineup in 2014. As long as the regulars can stay healthy, which was a major issue in 2013, the top eight position players will remain unchanged. The bench could use some tweaking, youngsters Tyler Moore and Zach Walters could play a difference. Scott Hairston will return but Chad Tracy is likely gone. Steve Lombardozzi's versatility makes him a big asset as the team's top utility bench player.
One top question will be who will lead this group with manager Davey Johnson stepping down. Bench coach Randy Knorr is the early leader to get the job, but the Nationals could also look to make a big splash with a name candidate with such a good team coming back.
BIGGEST NEEDS: The team must search for a fourth and fifth starter. Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark are the top three candidates. Detwiler's back is the biggest offseason health question for the starting rotation as he was unable to take a big step forward in 2013 after being shutdown July 4. The team must decide what they will do with left-handers in the bullpen. Ian Krol and Xavier Cedeno will get the opportunity to impress, but the team is also likely to go shopping for a veteran southpaw to add to its relieving corps. A big bat for the bench is also on the shopping list. Also, 2014 will be the last season for Adam LaRoche at first base, so the organization must begin to groom that spot for 2015. Tyler Moore has always been mentioned as a possible in-house successor.
ARRIVALS: RHP Doug Fister (trade with Tigers), LHP Jerry Blevins (trade with A's)
DEPARTURES: RHP Dan Haren (free agent, signed with Dodgers), LHP Fernando Abad (traded to A's), INF Steve Lombardozzi (traded to Tigers), LHP Ian Krol (traded to Tigers)
FREE AGENTS: 1B/OF Chad Tracy
Tracy did not have a productive season and will not return.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: RHP Jordan Zimmermann, RHP Tyler Clippard, SS Ian Desmond, LHP Ross Detwiler, RHP Drew Storen, RHP Stephen Strasburg, RHP Doug Fister, LHP Jerry Blevins
Zimmermann and Desmond both picked great years to be really good and will command top money as reward. Zimmermann won a career-high 19-9 record and a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts. Desmond hit .280 with 20 homers, 21 stolen bases and 80 RBIs. It was the second straight season Desmond had at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases. Whatever it takes to re-sign Clippard, the Nationals will agree. He is critical to the success at the end of the game for the bullpen. Likewise, for a franchise player like Strasburg, who would most likely be re-signed to a long term deal before going to arbitration. Storen is a candidate for arbitration because of a rough patch in 2013. Fister was acquired in a December trade.
IN LIMBO: 2B/SS Danny Espinosa, 1B/OF Chad Tracy, RHP Ryan Mattheus
Espinosa was not invited to return to the roster when rosters were expanded in September, a good an indication as any the Nationals will continue to look to trade the shortstop. Espinosa dealt with wrist and shoulder issues during the season and he could have some sort of medical procedure to help alleviate some of the pain he felt in his swing so he can be ready to begin healthy in 2014. Tracy is likely moving on as the team looks to add to its bench. Mattheus had an up-and-down 2013, but he is under team control until 2017, so he is likely staying put.
--LHP Ross Detwiler (herniated back disk) dealt with the condition since May, and it ended his season in early July. Detwiler is reluctant to play winter ball, but manager Davey Johnson said the organization needs his to get as many innings as possible in the off season to test the back before spring training. Detwiler has been pitching well in Fall Instructional League in Florida and that is a good sign heading into the offseason.
--LF Bryce Harper (sore left knee and left hip) was banged up for most of the season. He is a candidate to have some type of surgery on his troublesome knee so that he will be pain-free at the start of the 2014 season. It is expected the team will know in October whether Harper will need an offseason procedure.
--RHP Christian Garcia (partial tear in forearm tendon, right shoulder soreness, sore hamstring) didn't pitch in the majors in 2013. He hopes to be 100 percent heading into spring training.
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