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An MLB, NBA and occasional NFL sports blog slightly biased toward Detroit Tigers, Seattle Seahawks and opposed to David Stern after the Sonics situation. • http://knowhitter.com/ Follow me on twitter @knowhitter272

Detroit Tigers Reportedly Interested in Doug Fister

Per a Tweet form ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Detroit Tigers are interested in free agent pitcher Doug Fister.


It would be a reunion for the two sides as Fister pitched for the Tigers for two and a half years from midway 2011 through 2013. During his time in Motown, the right-handed pitcher won 32 games while posting a sparkling 3.29 ERA. His FIP was an even-more impressive 3.20. While he isn’t a pitcher who will pile on the strikeouts, Fister works fast and keeps the ball in the yard. In 2011 he led the league with only 0.5 home runs allowed per nine innings. Fister spent the second half of that season in Detroit where he went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA and a 57 strikeouts compared to only five walks.

Additionally, the former Mariner transformed into a standout playoff performer with the Tigers. Fister posted a 2.98 ERA in 48.1 postseason innings with Detroit. His team was 6-2 in those contests.

While he thrived on the field, most fans will remember how cheaply Fister was acquired.

Dave Dombrowski acquired the starter (along with David Pauley) for Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush, Chance Ruffin and Casper Wells. Furbush is an effective reliever for the Mariners, but that’s about all Seattle received. Both Wells and Ruffin last appeared in the majors in 2013 while Martinez never reached the big leagues with Seattle. He was dealt back to Detroit in 2013.

Fister also left Detroit in a one-sided trade. Dombrowski dealt him to the Washington Nationals for Ian Krol, Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray. Only Krol remains with the Tigers, and he posted a 5.79 ERA and a 5.17 FIP last season.

Doug Fister is now a free agent after his contract with the Washington Nationals expired. The team didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the pitcher, making him free to sign without surrendering a draft pick.

In addition to not costing a draft pick, Fister will also be comparatively cheap. His value will have gone down after going 4-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts for the Nationals this season. Opponents hit .302 off him during those starts. He was relegated to the bullpen after that stretch.

(You May Also Like: Why the Tigers Should Sign Doug Fister in the Offseason)

While not as expensive as David Price or Zack Greinke, Doug Fister could provide the Tigers with the rotation upgrade the team has been seeking.

For more Tigers, click here. For more baseball, click here.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Ben is on Twitter. He promises that he doesn’t always refer to himself in the third person.

Seattle Mariners’ Early Trades Already Making the Team Better

New Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto was essentially tasked with making the Seattle Mariners relevant again. With a core consisting of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz already in place, Dipoto had a solid base to build upon. However, in the past few weeks, the GM has significantly improved the Mariners’ roster with a trio of moves.

Seattle made the first significant trade of the offseason by dealing Danny Farquhar, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison to the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher Nate Karns, outfielder Book Powell and reliever C.J. Riefenhauser.

It may seem like a lopsided deal to move three players who were major contributors for one proven big-league player and two prospects, but the Mariners made out like bandits in this one.

The team essentially dealt from unneeded surplus to improve the roster.

In terms of Seattle relievers, Carson Smith was the only reliever left on the roster who posted a WAR above 1.4 last season. After him there was/is a good deal of uncertainty and sub-par pitching. Farquhar’s WAR was a career-low -0.7. His ERA (5.12) and FIP (4.60) weren’t much better. Tampa Bay has a history of rehabbing struggling relievers, so perhaps this will happen to the now-former Mariner, but he likely wasn’t assured a job next season thanks to his numbers in 2015.

Tampa Bay now has the same dilemma at shortstop that Seattle faced a few years ago, start Miller or Nick Franklin? Granted, the Rays also have former first-overall draft pick Tim Beckham in the mix, but still—same dilemma.

Miller was expendable thanks to the presence of Ketel Marte. Marte posted a .283 batting average, a 2.3 WAR, 17 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 57 games. At only 22-years-old, the former top prospect seems to have a stranglehold on the shortstop position. Miller played a number of positions as a Mariner, but didn’t profile as a quality defender at any of them. In other words, he wasn’t going to cut it as a utility player. His .258 batting average and 101 strikeouts didn’t exactly help his cause either.

Lastly there’s Morrison. The first baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter managed only a .225 batting average and 54 RBI in 146 games. These numbers are significantly below LoMo’s career numbers. The stats not only made Morrison expandable, but also created a significant need at first base. Regardless of this deal, changes were bound to happen at first base. Including Morrison in this deal ensured that the team received value for him.

The gem of the trade for Seattle is Karns. The 27-year-old starting pitcher turned in a solid season in Tampa last year, posting a 7-5 record, a 3.67 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 147 innings. He also chipped in with a 2.2 WAR.

Karns has already proven his worth as a dependable starter. The fact that the M’s acquired him looks even better when you consider that the former Washington Nationals’ farmhand isn’t arbitration eligible until 2018. The earliest he can become a free agent is 2021.

In addition to the years of controllability, Karns provides the Mariners with a potential replacement for Hisashi Iwakuma. MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that Tigers’ general manger disclosed that Iwakuma is a player Detroit has interest in. In addition to Detroit, a number of teams figure to be interested in ‘Kuma’ thanks to his track record. Karns provide an excellent replacement should Iwakuma leave town in the offseason.

If Iwakuma joins Karns in the rotation, it allows the Mariners to deal a rotation arm like James Paxton for a proven upgrade elsewhere on the roster. While moving Paxton seems unlikely given his age, controllability and upside, he was rumored to be discussed with the New York Yankees. That same report from The New York Post said the M’s have interest in Brett Gardner.

Can be Iwakuma insurance in case Iwakuma leaves. Also allows the team to shop someone like James Paxton or another pitcher if they feel so inclined (for upgrades elsewhere on the roster). Add link to Paxton/Brett Gardner link.

Powell and Riefenhauser are both inexperienced, but both come with upside. Powell was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics, before being dealt along with Daniel Robertson and former Mariner John Jaso for Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar last offseason. The 22-year-old hit .295 with 28 extra-base hits (including nine triples), 40 RBI, 18 steals and 61 walks in 117 games between Double-A and Triple-A. His slugging numbers won’t earn him any accolades, but he did post a .385 OBP last season.

Riefenhauser does have a career 6.30 ERA and a 5.68 FIP in only 24 appearances in the majors. However, his minor-league stats reveal more promise. In six seasons in the Rays’ farm system, the pitcher owns a 2.77 ERA and 442 strikeouts over 480.1 innings pitched. Riefenhauser is also extremely versatile having started 42 games and finishing 56 contests in his career. In 2015, his ERA in 34.2 innings at the Triple-A level was 2.86.

With so many question marks in the bullpen, Dipoto made another trade. The new GM dealt for established reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Benoit has been excellent since 2010. Equally adept as a setup man or a closer, Benoit owns a 2.35 ERA and 422 strikeouts in 370 innings dating back to the 2010 season. His FIP also comes out at a favorable 3.15.

The Mariners surrendered two prospects, Enyel De Los Santos and Nelson Ward, to the San Diego Padres in the trade. De Los Santos is the only one of the two to make it onto MLB.com’s list of the top 30 Padres prospects.

Neither prospect has passed the Single-A level in the minors, and given Benoit’s track record, this trade could pay massive dividends for the Mariners.

Did I mention Joaquin Benoit has a 16.7 WAR since 2010?

With the Benoit, Smith and Charlie Furbush on the roster, Tom Wilhelmsen was likely out of a gig as a setup reliever. Dipoto capitalized on this brief surplus by flipping Wilhelmsen and centerfielder James Jones to the Texas Rangers for reliever Anthony Bass and centerfielder Leonys Martin. It may seem redundant to trade an outfielder and a reliever for an outfielder and a reliever, but what Dipoto has essentially done is turn the two prospects he sent to San Diego into upgrades in the bullpen and in center field.

Seattle comes away from the deal with a significant upgrade in the outfield. Like Jones, Martin brings a similar speed element to the game. However, unlike Jones, he’s shown the ability to be an above-average contributor at the dish.

In 2013 and 2014, Martin hit .268 while averaging eight home runs, six triples, 17 doubles, 34 stolen bases and 44 RBI. Over those two seasons, his WAR was a combined 8.1. Jones’ career WAR is -1.1.

The Wilhelmsen/Bass exchange may seem more titled in Texas’ favor, but when you consider the M’s already added Benoit, it makes the deal much easier to accept.

While Wilhelmsen’s track record is much better and more consistent than Bass’, the now-former Texas reliever isn’t just a throw in. Bass posted a respectable 3.73 FIP in Texas’ launch-pad-masquerading-as-a ballpark.

Put it this way, would you rather have Benoit, Martin and Bass or Wilhelmsen, Jones and two prospects? Easy choice right?

Since taking over, Jerry Dipoto is doing an excellent job at reshaping the Seattle Mariners. He’s already turned excess depth into upgrades. Should he continue to make more shrewd moves, he’ll be the architect of a potential playoff team.

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All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

#FantasyFootball Week Nine Recap & Week 10 Lineup Decisions

TBD TBD pulled out a win against a team with a number of players injured or on bye weeks. The team posted a mere 74 fantasy points, with Andrew Luck, Todd Gurley and Randall Cobb doing the heavy lifting. Adam Vinatieri chipped in with 12 points.

The Dallas Cowboys’ Defense/Special Teams put up a -5 while Malcom Floyd had a goose egg. On the bench, Martavis Bryant was the only player who could have helped.



Roster/Lineup Decisions

It was a brutal week for injuries. Dion Lewis has been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury while Luck will remain out for somewhere in the neighborhood of a month thanks to multiple injuries. Floyd may miss time as well.

Blake Bortles is obviously going to start at quarterback in Luck’s absence. Ben Roethlisberger is available. Should we claim him and stash him for later? The playoffs perhaps?

There is also a decision to be made at FLEX. Who should start?



2015-11-10-11-03-33 (1)

Additionally, who should we add?

If a player is added someone has to go…

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here. 

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

TBD TBD was done in by Drew Brees’ monster game. Add that to poor fantasy days from Randall Cobb, Donte Moncrief, Ladarius Green and John Brown and you have a recipe for disaster. The team would be a whole lot worse-for-wear without the Houston Texans Defense/Special Teams and Todd Gurley.

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

On the bench, thanks to byes and other results, Dion Lewis is the only player who would have been any help to the squad.

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

Here’s the lineup for week. Lots of bye weeks, in addition to Joseph Randle no longer having an NFL job. We’ll need a replacement for the now-former Cowboys running back.


Also, who starts at running back?

Tight end?


There are some interesting names available, should TBD add any of them?


And finally, who needs to go?

Here’s to a much better week.

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here. 

Seattle Sounders Playoff Highlights vs FC Dallas

For more Seattle Sounders, click here. For more MLS, click here. If you want more onSeattle sports, click here. If you’re looking for Soccer/Football, click on this link.

TBD TBD: #FantasyFootball Week Seven Recap & Week Eight Preview

Another week, another win for the TBD TBD. While Julius Thomas put up a zero, and the Houston Texans’ Defense/Special Teams Unit posted a paltry -3 points, the rest of the team performed well.

Despite two interceptions, Andrew Luck accounted for 23 points. Marshawn Lynch and Todd Gurley combined for 45 points while John Brown and Donte Moncrief put up a cumulative 21 points. Lastly, in what is likely his final game of the season (more on that later).


While their scoring output didn’t help the final score, the bench played its part as well. Zach Ertz turned in another respectable game, while Blake Bortles and Martavis Bryant both eclipsed double digits.


Week Eight Preview and Picks

With both Thomas and Ertz on bye weeks, a streaming tight end will be needed. Larry Donnell faces a fairly cushy matchup against the New Orleans Saints while Jordan Cameron could see a number of extra targets should the Miami Dolphins fall behind early against the New England Patriots. Eric Ebron could find pay-dirt for the second consecutive week as he faces the Kansas City Chiefs. Should Thomas or Ebron be cut to make way for this new tight end?


Lineup Decisions

With Foster out, the team will need a new FLEX, who should start there? Joseph Randle is questionable to play against a tough Seattle Seahawks defense while Randall Cobb faces an equally challenging matchup with the Denver Broncos. With Dion Lewis uncertain to play, Bryant and Giovani Bernard round out the list of FLEX options.

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here. 

#FantasyFootball Week Six Recap and Week Seven Decisions

Week Six was a good week for TBD TBD. Despite struggles from Dion Lewis and Randall Cobb, every other starter registered at least 11 points.

Blake Bortles led the way with 22 points while John Brown and Arian Foster chipped in with 17 and 16 points respectively.

F Score

The team also received solid production from the bench. Andrew Luck and Martavis Bryant both eclipsed 25 points while both Giovani Bernard and Donte Moncrief had more than 11 points each.

F Bench scores

Now to the lineup choices for this week.

(Note, I have moved Lynch to Lewis’ spot as the Pats’ RB is now listed as questionable. Plus, ‘Beast Mode’ plays on Thursday night, so leaving the flex spot open provides more lineup flexibility.)

F Lineup

F Bench

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here. 

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s Awesome Goal Celebrations

Another NBA Season Sans-Seattle

As October begins to wind down, the NBA will soon start up again. The National Basketball Association will raise the curtain on yet another season. For the seventh year, this curtain-raising will happen without Seattle.

It’s a sad fact to realize that the NBA has spent the better part of a decade without a franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Since the Sonics left, we’ve had two different presidents (and likely a third), two popes and even a Super Bowl title courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks.

As we’ve seen the NBA continue to prosper, we’ve also seen a number of other things happen while without a men’s professional basketball team.

  • We’ve seen the number of former Sonics dwindle. Kevin Durant, Nick Collison, Reggie Evans and Jeff Green are some of the few that are left. Luke Ridnour was in that discussion, but he could retire soon.  
  • We’ve also seen potential options in terms of moving to Seattle come and go. The New Orleans Pelicans (then known as the Hornets), Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks were all linked with, or close to a move.
  • The Seattle Storm have been to the playoffs five different times, including winning the WNBA title in 2010. At least the Storm are continuing to carry the torch for professional basketball in Seattle.
  • The entire Hobbit franchise came and went

By “we,” I’m referring to the people of Washington State, and Seattle. Losing the Sonics was brutal, but the fact that it’s been so long since we’ve had a team is just as brutal.

For Sonics’ fans, the NBA has become a league of players. We obviously haven’t moved on to different teams, but we become fans of players. This isn’t to say we rush out and buy the jerseys, but we more appreciate the specific players’ skill. The NBA has also become out occasionally checking the standings and making sure that team from Oklahoma isn’t doing well. We have nothing against the players, it’s just, you know…

The NBA’s return date to Seattle is TBD, but it’s bound to happen eventually (hopefully soon). The Seattle area has a few exciting propositions on the table in both SoDo and Tukwila, so there’s hope. If all goes well, Seattle will have an NBA team soon. However, that’s obviously not going to happen this season. Thus begins another NBA season without Seattle.

Detroit Tigers 2016: Position Player Locks, Uncertainties and Likely Departures

Somewhat recently, Know Hitter looked at the pitchers that are locks, uncertainties, or likely departures ahead of next season.

Now it’s time to look at the hitters, where there are much fewer uncertainties. This doesn’t mean changes won’t come about for Detroit, but most of the offense is expected to stay put.


James McCann

McCann was extremely impressive as a rookie. The young backstop hit .264, while also committing zero errors in 114 games. He looks like he’ll be in the Motor City for the next decade. He may not have the offensive acumen of Ivan Rodriguez or Alex Avila (before injuries took their toll), but if he can continue to gradually improve upon his .264 batting average, he has a chance to be special. McCann also hit five triples, a pretty spectacular number for a catcher.

Miguel Cabrera

Come on, too easy.

Ian Kinsler

The former Texas Ranger has quickly become one of Detroit’s most indispensable players. He’s provided elite defense (2.9 and 2.5 dWAR in his two seasons in Motown) while at times carrying the team offensively. Kinsler managed to drive in 73 runs despite an early power outage that saw him hit only three home runs through June. You can make the case that with the exception of J.D. Martinez, Kinsler was the Tigers’ MVP last season.

Jose Iglesias

If a guy can do all this (see video below) and hit .296, you’ve got a keeper for the next decade.

Nick Castellanos

At only 23-years-old, Castellanos has already driven in 139 runs in the big leagues. Some prospects don’t even reach the Majors at that age. While a .255 batting average is nothing to write home about, Castellanos showed flashes of brilliance and greatly improved defensively. He also managed to increase his total number of hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI and walks. Kid’s got a bright future.

J.D. Martinez

Maybe we’ll call the Tigers’ MVP award race a tie and hand it to both Kinsler and Martinez. For his part, Martinez proved that 2014 was no fluke. The former Houston Astro snagged a spot on the All-Star team in addition to a .282 batting average, 38 home runs and 102 RBI. Like McCann, Iglesias and Castellanos, you can plug him into the Detroit lineup for the better part of the next decade.

Anthony Gose

Gose only hit .254 for the Tigers, but provided solid defense while stealing 23 bases. He platooned with Rajai Davis in center field last year, expect a similar platoon predicament for Gose next season. The speedy outfielder will likely serve as the team’s primary source of speed.

Victor Martinez

V-Mart struggled last year, hitting .245 in 120 games. The designated hitter’s power numbers were down as well with only 20 doubles, 11 home runs and 64 RBI in those contests. With his massive contract, Martinez isn’t going anywhere. Despite the struggles, look for the Tigers’ DH to bounce back next season.

Andrew Romine

Romine seems a solid bet to make the roster thanks to his ability to play around the infield. He also adds a bit of speed (10 stolen bases) off the bench.

Tyler Collins

Even if it’s as a bench bat, Collins has proved he belongs on the team next season. The outfielder hit .266 with a .732 OPS in 60 games. As it stands, he may be the best bench bat the Tigers employ.


Dixon Machado

Even if Romine makes the team, fellow infielder Machado stands a good chance of making it as well. The middle infielder’s defense has been big-league ready for years, and he showed promise in limited cup of coffee.

Rajai Davis

Davis would certainly make sense as a bench bat/pinch runner, but another team offering more cash and playing time may come calling. Additionally, the Tigers may opt for a different alternative to Gose in center. The fact remains that Davis is still a fit for the club if the stars align. It would shock no one if Davis is once again wearing an Old English “D” in 2016.

Steven Moya

Moya has all kinds of potential thanks to his famous power. He needs to work on his plate discipline however, and may be better suited at Triple-A Toledo for a season before joining the Tigers for good in 2017. If he shows well in the minors, a mid-season call up certainly isn’t out of the question.

Bryan Holaday

Whether Holaday makes the team or not is probably entirely dependent on whether new general manager Al Avila signs another catcher to backup McCann. If no other backstops are brought in, expect Holaday to serve as McCann’s deputy in 2016.

Jefry Marte

Another young player who showed flashes of potential, Marte may find himself in Triple-A. His power would certainly help the Detroit bench, but with Romine able to handle both of the positions that Marte plays, the former Oakland Athletics farm hand could be with Toledo. Still, if Marte tears it up in Spring Training, the Tigers will have a tough decision on their hands.

Likely Departures/ Departures

Alex Avila

Avila’s father/Tigers GM Al Avila has already stated that he doesn’t see resigning Alex “as a priority.” In other words, it appears that the younger Avila has played his final game with Detroit. He’ll likely sign elsewhere in search of more playing time.

Josh Wilson

Wilson was outrighted by the Tigers and elected free agency as opposed to staying in the organization. The infielder hit /316 in a 21 game cameo for the Tigers, driving in five runs in the process.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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