Vargas and Fister: The Challenge

Today the following popped up on MLBtraderumors. Talk that the Mariners could be floating both Jason Vargas and Doug Fister around the trade market.

In my opinion I think this is something that probably needs to happen and if they gather interest in either of them that can improve this line-up it’s something that needs to be considered due to the depth of the pitching in our organization.

There was one person that said we wouldn’t get much in return being that they are basically fourth starters. I’m sure this is the sentiment among many different people.

There is already a stigma with some fans when dealing with the Mariners and their pitching after the Jarrod Washburn fiasco in Detroit. But let’s take a look at a couple of “like” pitcher to that of Vargas and Fister comparing some peripherals a long with a league neutralized “FIP”.

Doug Fister 133 45.80% 19.80% 0.286 6.30% 1.89 3.86 2.8
Tim Hudson 120.1 58.00% 16.50% 0.268 9.10% 2.32 3.39 2.2
Ryan Dempster 119.1 46.10% 20.30% 0.320 8.90% 3.02 3.32 2
Trevor Cahill 134 56.80% 17.90% 0.268 7.50% 3.76 3.66 1.5
Bronson Arroyo 114.2 41.10% 18.90% 0.293 5.90% 1.96 4.11 -0.5
Jake Westbrook 102.2 60.40% 16.20% 0.317 6.20% 3.51 3.99 0.2


Mark Buehrle 121 43.30% 18.00% 0.290 6.40% 2.01 4.06 1.9
Matt Harrison 111.1 45.40% 19.30% 0.269 7.30% 3.07 4.01 1.7
Jason Vargas 127.1 37.80% 16.70% 0.266 8.00% 2.26 4.10 1.6
John Danks 94 42.80% 19.00% 0.303 8.10% 2.68 4.02 1.2
Jonathan Sanchez 89.2 42.70% 19.80% 0.270 9.90% 5.92 4.22 1
Joe Saunders 118 42.20% 21.60% 0.277 7.00% 3.43 4.32 0.4

I took all the data primarily from this year and while that is kind of “cherry picking data” we’ve seen the biggest steps in either of their performances this season. Both are having, for a lack of a better term, “career” years.

I put that in parentheses because I’m not sold that either of them are producing the type of numbers they are producing by pure chance and luck. While both have an extremely low HR/FB ratio you could point out the same in Justin Masterson, Jonathan Sanchez, C.J. Wilson and even Travis Wood. But, as Rod Stewart so nicely puts it, some guys have all the luck.

Vargas and Fister are far from being #1-2 guys they are better than just your typical #4 and 5th starters. They have made adjustments and become better than league average pitchers. If the Mariners decide to leverage that depth, they should receive just compensation in return.

Hopefully that means some upgrades to this line-up. But regardless of who they acquire just understand that even though they have success in our Safeco it’s not just all the ballpark effects.

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Tags: C.J. Wilson Doug Fister Jason Vargas Jonathan Sanchez Justin Masterson Travis Wood Trevor Cahill

  • Keith_12thMR

    I don’t know about this. For Both of them, current performance > trade value, their cheap, and there’s no one in the minors ready to take their spot.

    Unless they get a really good package for one, which is unlikely, I don’t see the benefit of trading either of them.

  • Harrison_Crow

    @MarinerMyers I think Beavan could take the innings and it’s not like we are competing. It’s a given we are going to lose most likely another 35 or even 40+ games.

    AWe obviously aren’t going to get that much back. But we are looking at least a couple of legitimate prospects each. Look at what the Cubs got for Tom Gorzelanny, who is a great example of Vargas but, in my opinion, not quiet as good.

    The Padres got Ryan Ludwick in exchange for a couple of prospects in a three way deal in which the Cardinals got Jake Westbrook, who is not as good as Doug Fister.

    The Ted Lilly dead line deal is another example of what Vargas could bring. I’m not saying that the Mariners are going to get a “haul” back but there could be an interesting piece that helps make this team better and it’s worth if nothing else considering it.

    Don’t misunderstand this post it’s not about trading either Fister or Vargas but realizing that both of them do have value. More than most Seattle fans realize. While that isn’t going to change the landscape of the team. It’s enough to possibly upgrade a position that needs it.

  • maqman

    I agree they are more valuable than many credit and if they were to be traded we should get something of equal value back. I think Bedard would bring as good, if not better return, just based on name value and his #2 starter status. I’m okay with holding on to all of the pitchers but I understand the club’s many needs.