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.

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

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