Free agent right-hander Doug Fister is beginning to draw interest from several teams.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, five clubs had scouts in attendance to watch Fister throw in California last week. The five teams: Angels, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Mets. In unclear whether Fister is close to a deal with any of those teams.
Fister, 33, spent last season with the Astros, throwing 180 1/3 innings with a 4.64 ERA (85 ERA+). He was one of the top pitchers in baseball as recently as 2014, then he threw 164 innings with a 2.41 ERA (155 ERA+) for the Nationals. Since then though, Fister has a 4.48 ERA (88 ERA+) in 283 1/3 innings.
There was relatively little interest in Fister over the winter despite his career track record. It was only a matter of time until some teams came calling, however. Pitching is always in demand. On paper, it's easy to understand why those five teams scouting Fister last week.
- Angels: Garrett Richards was recently placed on the 60-day DL with a biceps injury.
- Blue Jays: Both J.A. Happ (elbow) and Aaron Sanchez (fingernail) are on the 10-day DL.
- Diamondbacks: Shelby Miller will have Tommy John surgery in the coming days and miss the rest of 2017.
- Giants: Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) will miss at least two months following a dirt bike accident.
- Mets: Noah Syndergaard (lat) will miss upwards of three months. Steven Matz (elbow) has yet to pitch this year as well.
I don't think any team would expect Fister to come in and pitch like an ace. Whoever signs him would do so hoping he could solidify the back of the rotation and chew up innings every fifth day.
It is still too early in the season for the trade market to begin to take shape because no team is ready to throw in and towel and sell. Fister can be had for nothing but cash, making him the best available option for teams in need of another starter.