Right-hander Doug Fister and his agents at PSI Sports Management have been seeking a two-year contract worth a guaranteed total of about $22MM this offseason, a source tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
Fister has reportedly drawn interest from a number of clubs this offseason, including the Phillies, Marlins and Tigers, although each of those teams has added rotation help since initially being connected to the soon-to-be 32-year-old. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that the Orioles like Fister quite a bit but aren’t interested in going anywhere near Crasnick’s reported price tag in order to lure him to Baltimore.
Entering the 2015 season, Fister was part of what looked to be a star-studded class of elite and second-tier arms that were slated to hit the open market this winter. However, the 2015 campaign was the worst of his career by nearly any measure. Fister, of course, began the season in one of the game’s deepest rotations (Nationals), but he surprisingly struggled to the point where he lost his starting job and was moved to the bullpen. While he’s never thrown hard in the past, Fister opened the season averaging just over 86 mph on his fastball and eventually landed on the disabled list in mid-May with a bout of forearm tightness. He returned about a month later but didn’t see much in the way of improved results. All told, he recorded an uncharacteristic 4.60 ERA across 15 starts in his second (and presumably final) season with the Nats. In those 15 starts, Fister logged 86 innings (about 5 2/3 innings per outing) and struck out just 48 hitters — an average of 5.2 per nine innings. Fister’s 4.63 FIP, 4.60 xFIP and 4.70 SIERA all matched his unsightly ERA, and his 42 percent ground-ball rate out of the rotation this season was the lowest of his career.
While there’s clearly a long list of red flags surrounding Fister, the upside he brings to the table is also tantalizing. From 2011-14, Fister was one of baseball’s most underrated player, recording a pristine 3.11 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 50.5 percent ground-ball rate across 750 2/3 innings. He landed on the DL a few times in that stretch for a strained lat muscle and a pair of strained muscles in his side — nothing arm-related — and averaged 188 innings per season in that time (201 per season when factoring in the playoffs, where he owns a 2.60 ERA in 55 1/3 innings). If he’s back to full health and able to replicate his 2011-14 success, a $22MM contract would be a steal. Of course, if his 2016-17 seasons are more like his 2015 campaign, such a commitment would look unsightly in a hurry.
I don’t see Baltimore paying up front. Probably an incentive Leiden deal would do it.
He was great for the Tiger’s in post season play. If he is deemed healthy then he should get close to 20 million for 2.
He should take a one year deal at 8 million. Then he can prove it was a fluke year. Go back into the market for a better than 2 year deal next offseason.
Steve, you need to check your math, 48 SOs over 86 IPs can’t be 5.01 SO/9. I think you might be off a decimal point.
It’s 5.02, not 5.01, if that’s what you’re referring to. I probably keyed it in wrong on the keypad. Thanks.
Oops, my mistake. 5.01 SOs/9 is correct.
Uhhh… 48/86 x 9= 5.02
Why would anyone give him a 2 year deal. 1/10 would be the absolute highest for me. Or else give him something like a base of 6 million with 6 million in incentives
I agree. Even if I’m Doug Fister, I don’t really think I want a two year deal. Give me a one year deal with a lot of incentives, let me earn my pay, and then I’ll likely be one of the top starters on the market next winter. If he pitches well on a one year deal, he could become a rich man.
I’m sort of shocked that no one is jumping at 2/$22MM. In the current market, Mike Pelfrey, who has a track record of being terrible, got 2/$16MM. Pelfrey was decent last year, and he and Fister had very similar years last year. Only this was Fister’s first season where he wasn’t well above average.
I totally agree with Steve when he says, ‘If he’s back to full health and able to replicate his 2011-14 success, a $22MM contract would be a steal.’
I would much rather have Fister at 2 / 22MM than Pelfrey at 2 / 16MM.
Take a one year incentive laden deal in Pittsburgh then cash in if successful!
Just Another Fan
I’d like 2/22 too.
Unlike me though, Fister will probably get 1/7.
Forearm tightness? Sounds like TJS territory.
Nah probably just fatigue/dead arm. TJ is more elbow related, although if he continues pitching with forearm tightness it definetly could cause him to try to over compensate in other areas, leading to elbow issues.
@heisenberg58 could also be a dead arm period. But I’d pass on this guy.
How can someone who lost his spot in the rotation and who always threw slow to begin with have the audacity to command $11 million/per? A team could lose their entire rotation to TJ surgery during spring training and still none would be desperate enough to sign him to that number. He needs to fire his agent immediately.
Can’t get it if you don’t ask, I guess. Someone will sign him but not until he comes down on his asking price.
I’d do a one year 8 million base salary with 4 million in incentives with an 15 million team option. Less potential risk for a team, more potential gain for fister.
Lol fister isn’t worth that much