Fister stacks up well competitively, not financially

Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister returns from the 15-day disabled list Monday. The Tigers lost 3-2 (Steven Bisig/US Presswire)

The $507,500 contract shouldn’t be satisfying enough for Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister next season.

Fister, who returned from the 15-day disabled list Monday, is making less money than a majority of the Tigers pitching staff.

He deserves better and should get it next season when his deal expires.

Maybe the ladies don’t think he’s as attractive as pitcher Rick Porcello, but from a baseball perspective, the earned run average is.

Porcello memorabilia scatters throughout Comerica Park every fifth day as he trots out to the mound, but the 4.91 ERA joins him.

Fister quietly provided the Tigers with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts last season.

His numbers scream ace pitcher. In fact, they even challenge American League Most Valuable Player and CY Young winner Justin Verlander’s.

During last season, he had eight fewer earned runs and four fewer total allowed in his span with the Tigers.

I’m not saying Fister is the ace of the staff, but he could be one somewhere else. Verlander has special talent and won a league-high 24 games last season, but don’t underestimate the 8-1 record Fister earned.

If Fister is willing to be the No. 2 pitcher, which I think he would be, the Tigers have a chance to be successful for years, but his asking price might not be feasible to keep him in Detroit.

Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski made a brilliant move acquiring him for Charlie Furbush and Caspar Wells around last season’s trade deadline.

Instead of chasing after big names, Dombrowski found Fister, but at the end of this season, he will be a big name.

And with that comes big money, usually.

The Tigers are sixth in the MLB, hovering around the $120 million on team salary. First baseman Prince Fielder ($23 million per year), third baseman Miguel Cabrera ($21 million per year) and Verlander (20.1 million per year) rack up a lot of what Fister should demand.

He hasn’t given up a run in his two starts, one which was cut short from injury and he’s been consistent.

This season could be an important one and that’s in part because of what Fister brings to this organization.

One season would make fans happy, but without Fister, there’s a vacancy.

Fans should realize what they have because if Fister isn’t rewarded, he could be in another uniform in April.


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