This deal has been coming together for a few hours now, and it appears to be all but official at this point. The Detroit Tigers have been searching for starting pitching help for weeks now, and they appear to have found it in Seattle.
According to numerous reports this morning, the Tigers will acquire lefty starter Doug Fister and right-handed reliever David Pauley from the Mariners in exchange for left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush, outfielder Casper Wells, third base prospect Francisco Martinez and a player to be named later. The fourth player going to Seattle could end up being a pretty significant player, too, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
The deal not only gives the Tigers immediate help for a rotation that could really use it, but it gives them a long-term solution to the middle of their rotation beyond Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Fister, 27, isn't arbitration-eligible until next season, and won't become a free agent until after the 2015 season. He's posted a 3.33 ERA in 146 innings this season with equally as impressive peripherals (3.23 FIP), indicating that he's actually developed into a legitimate, high-quality No. 3 starter.
The Tigers did have to pay a fairly hefty price to acquire Fister and Pauley, though. Furbush, 25, is an MLB-ready arm that can both start and relieve, although I'd expect him to replace Fister in the rotation at some point given the depth of his arsenal. Wells, 26, has yet to really establish himself, but he's always put up strong numbers in the minors and he's posted a .286/.341/.490 line in his first 224 plate appearances in the majors, so there's a chance that the Mariners may stumble into a cheap everyday corner outfielder. And otherwise, Wells is likely to be a solid bench piece for a couple years.
The other two pieces are likely to be more based around projection. Martinez, 20, is an athletic third baseman that surprisingly has made some nice adjustments in his move up to Double-A this season. Even as one of the youngest players in his league, Martinez has posted a .282/.319/.405 line, and he could turn into a quality everyday third baseman down the road. A few minutes ago, Baseball America's Ben Badler called Martinez, "the best guy in the deal."
The fourth player, who hasn't been announced yet, may be a quality prospect if you believe Stone's report. While names like Nick Castellanos and Andy Oliver are highly unlikely, the Mariners may be able to pry away another second-tier prospect, like Drew Smyly or Avisail Garcia. It'll be shocking if Martinez isn't the best prospect going to Seattle at this point.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported that the teams were making progress, SI.com's Jon Heyman confirmed that Fister would be going to Detroit, and CBS Sports' Danny Knobler offered numerous updates on the packages going to both sides.