Houston Astros have a fifth Starter by the name of Doug Fister, throw your fists up!
The Houston Astros have signed Doug Fister to a 1-year deal for $7 million, with performance bonuses included that could add up to $12 million. After a relatively quiet past few weeks for Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow, he finally has signed a free agent. This is the move that Astros fans have been longing for since the Ken Giles acquisition, with many rumors swirling about through January.
Signing Fister is a nice move for the Astros, anchoring a rotation that has higher expectations for 2016. Fister, a 31-year-old right-hander, will provide the Astros with quality innings that needed to be replaced after Scott Kazmir signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers a few weeks ago. You can never have enough pitching in the MLB, and Fister can provide much more than just insurance for injuries.
Fister was rumored to be looking for two years, $22 million, so it seems that the Astros are getting solid value in this signing. Fister can earn a large sum of money, but the base salary works in the Astros favor. It seems that Jeff Luhnow has pulled off another quality, cost-effective signing for the club.
In 2015, Fister posted a 5-7 record for the Washington Nationals with a 4.19 ERA, 1.398 WHIP, 63 strikeouts, 24 walks, and 103.0 innings pitched. His WAR was a measly 0.2, but he did miss some time with an injury and actually did not start pitching for the Nationals until June. His velocity was down after the injury, and he gave up a few more home runs.
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But, Fister had a great 2014 season in Washington and has plenty of postseason experience, pitching in the postseason with the Detroit Tigers from 2011-2013, and then delivering a 7.0 inning shutout start in the NLDS with the Nationals. I would guess that the Astros liked Fister because of his postseason experience, as the Astros are still relatively inexperienced in that category.
I think Fister will fit in the fourth spot of the Astros starting rotation, behind Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, and Collin McHugh. He would be right ahead of Mike Fiers, filling out a quality five-man rotation for A.J. Hinch to have at his disposal. Overall, I think Astros fans will be very pleased with this signing, as Fister will come in and help the Astros achieve their goal of reaching higher in the postseason.
Now, when is Opening Day again?