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Wire Taps: Tigers Respond To Criticism Of Deal With Nationals; Nats Still Seeking LHP

The Detroit Tigers are apparently bristling at all the coverage of the trade that sent Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals and Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski responded to some of the criticism yesterday. Ian Desmond said Detroit will love Steve Lombardozzi...


Apparently Detroit Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski is getting tired of the criticism of the trade that sent 29-year-old right-hander Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals in return for 25-year-old infielder Steve Lombardozzi and 22-year-old left-handers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray. Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo, in an interview on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. on Tuesday, told hosts Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier that he thought the deal was "...a good baseball trade for two organizations."

"'I understand that to this point in his career he hasn’t blown anyone away, but this kid is an asset to any big-league team.'" - Ian Desmond on Steve Lombardozzi to the Detroit Free Press's John Lowe

Tony Paul of The Detroit Press wrote on Wednesday, that when Dombrowski spoke to reporters at Joe Nathan's introductory press conference, the Tigers' General Manager "was plenty fired up... at the continued suggestions the Tigers a) didn’t do their 'homework' in shopping Doug Fister, and b) didn’t get enough in return from the Washington Nationals for the right-handed starter." Dombrowski said he viewed Krol as a "potential no.1 left-hander" in Detroit's bullpen, thought Ray was "knocking on the door" and close to being major league-ready and Lombardozzi was a "really good extra player." The idea that the Tigers didn't do their homework bothered the GM.

At least one National told Detroit Free Press writer John Lowe yesterday that he thought Tigers fans will eventually fall in love with Lombardozzi who did have a strong following in the nation's capital. If Ray turns out to be the centerpiece of the package Detroit expects him to be, the deal might look like a good one in a few years even if it doesn't necessarily improve the team in 2014. A lot of writers around baseball seem willing to give Dombrowski the benefit of the doubt for now, though some of those who didn't apparently got to the GM. Read all about the drama below...

Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!


• "Instead, Dombrowski — without naming the reporter — seemed to zero in on Law, who wrote that he talked to several unnamed general managers who said they never were even informed that Fister was available." - "Fired-up Dave Dombrowski: Tigers did their 'homework' on Doug Fister deal" - Tony Paul, The Detroit News


• "The most-intriguing name, though, remains Eric O’Flaherty, a dominant member of the Braves’ bullpen the last five seasons who absolutely would upgrade the Nationals’ relief corps." - "Market for left-handed relievers is thinning" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nationals are in need of left-handed relievers and has learned that the team has expressed interest in Scott Downs, who played for the Expos from 2000-04." - "Washington Nationals eyeing Scott Downs to fill lefty-reliever void" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The season’s upon us. It’s that time of year. So close your eyes, Nats fans, and forget sugar plums. Dream of this lineup for just a moment." - "Visions of Robinson Cano under Nationals' tree" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "Speaking at a fundraiser for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Zimmerman said the Nationals have given him every indication he will remain at third base for at least the 2014 season." - "Ryan Zimmerman on staying at third base, Matt Williams and Doug Fister" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'It was a tough year. It was frustrating. It was the first time ever on a baseball field where I felt uncomfortable.'" - "Washington National Ryan Zimmerman happy with normal offseason, excited for 2014" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Mark Zuckerman analyzes the Washington Nationals' trade for right-hander Doug Fister in this video clip from Comcast SportsNet." - "VIDEO: Mark Zuckerman analyzes the Nationals’ trade for Doug Fister" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "DeRosa said he talked with Espinosa recently, after the season, to 'see where his head was at, how he feels, healthy, confident, all that stuff,' he said." - "Former National Mark DeRosa joining MLB Network" - James Wagner, Washington Post

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• "The Nationals acquired righty Doug Fister -- but does it mean that the Tigers' rotation will suffer?" - "Doug Fister traded to the Washington Nationals" - Jen Mac Ramos, Beyond the Box Score

• "After producing maybe the worst season of his career, the 34-year-old first baseman sat out the final three games of the season with a slight bicep strain." - "Grab some tweezers -- it's time to play 'Operation MLB offseason surgery'" - Stephen Mast, FOX Sports on MSN

• "Perhaps more importantly, Fister escapes the Tigers' poor infield defense -- or, at least before the Prince Fielder trade it was -- for a more palatable Nationals infield." - "Fantasy impact of deals involving Dexter Fowler, Doug Fister, Jim Johnson, Joe Nathan, others" - Tristan H. Cockcraft, Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

• "Rick Eckstein, recently hired as the club’s major league player information coach, spent most of the last five years as the Washington Nationals’ hitting coach." - "Angels hire Dave Hansen as assistant hitting coach" - Mike DiGiovanna, LA Times

• "'I have to stick my neck out for Steve Lombardozzi,' Desmond said in an e-mail to the Free Press on Wednesday. 'I understand that to this point in his career he hasn’t blown anyone away, but this kid is an asset to any big-league team.'" - "Former teammate: Detroit will fall in love with Tigers new utility man Steve Lombardozzi" - John Lowe, Detroit Free Press

• "Doug Fister has now been traded twice during his career. How do the return packages in those deals compare?" - "Doug Fister Trades: 2011 vs. 2013" - Andrew Ball, Beyond the Box Score

• "'Werth is better,' an agent told me. 'Five tools. Defense. I'm not surprised he got more.'" - "Are Cards getting better bang for big bucks?" - Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


• "There's still taxpayer angst and anger over the original cost of the stadium, constructed in 2008 for about $700 million." - "Sherwood: Gray's In It to Win It" - Tom Sherwood, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Unlike the concession stands at FedEx Field and Nationals Park, and the smaller Reagan National Airport eatery, the Arlington and H Street, Northeast Ben’s Chili Bowls will not be franchises." - "Ben's Chili Bowl to Open Virginia, H Street Locations" - Margaret Summers, Washington Informer

• "New Syracuse Chiefs General Manager Excited For Coming Season" - Don Laible, The Observer-Dispatch


Phillies: "Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., like most of his counterparts, is in search of pitching, and he's intrigued by his most recent acquisition, Brad Lincoln." - "Amaro says new acquisition Lincoln 'has a big arm'" - Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer

Mets: "A new possibility for shortstop has emerged for the Mets, as the team plans to send scouts to a showcase this weekend for Cuban defector Erisbel Arruebarruena, according to major league sources." - "Mets to scout Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena this weekend, sources" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Marlins: "'We’re actually trying to re-sign Chris,' Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Wednesday." - "Miami Marlins eye cheaper deal for Chris Coghlan" - Clark Spencer,

Braves: "That's why the Braves need to make a win-now move and trade for Jeff Samardzija." - "Making the case for the Braves to acquire Jeff Samardzija" - Scott Coleman, Talking Chop