The Twins and free agent right-hander Doug Fister had discussions “many, many, many weeks ago,” but there hasn’t been any recent talk between the two sides, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link). Minnesota has played surprisingly well this year (15-13, plus-3 run differential), but it will probably have to add to its rotation in order to have any chance to hang around the playoff race. While it’s possible the 33-year-old Fister could provide a back-of-the-rotation upgrade over the likes of Adalberto Mejia, Nick Tepesch and the just-optioned Kyle Gibson, he hasn’t exactly been stellar lately. After effectively using his pitch-to-contact style to serve as a quality starter in Seattle, Detroit and Washington from 2010-14, Fister came back to earth with the Astros and Nationals over the past two years. In 283 1/3 innings, he logged a 4.48 ERA and a 4.68 FIP.
More from the American League:
- Yankees manager and Illinois native Joe Girardi had a chance to leave the Bombers to manage the Cubs in 2012, and GM Brian Cashman was prepared to help the skipper land the job, details Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com. Cashman told Girardi, who only had one year left on his contract at the time, “If you want to go to the Cubs, let me know.” Cashman explained his stance, telling Marchand: “My interest was in keeping him. But if the endgame is there, let me in, so I can privately prepare to replace you if I’m forced to do something like that. And you can get the most money you can get.” Girardi elected to stay put, of course, leading the then-rebuilding Cubs to hire placeholder Dale Sveum, who lasted two years before Rick Renteria took over in 2014. Renteria managed the team for just one season prior to the Joe Maddon era, which produced the Cubs’ first World Series title since 1908 last year. It’s quite possible Girardi would still be in Chicago had he left the Yankees for the Cubs in 2012, so his decision to remain in New York has had a profound effect on him, Maddon and both franchises (and arguably Tampa Bay, Maddon’s previous employer).
- Third base has been a black hole this year for the Red Sox, whose hot corner options have hit an AL-worst .245/.291/.340. Nevertheless, it’s too soon to do anything drastic about the position, opines Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com. Thanks to their desire to stay under the luxury-tax threshold, the Red Sox are limited in how much money they can take on for an upgrade at third, notes Drellich, who adds that they should save any prospect trade chips to address a potentially shaky rotation. As such, Boston’s best course of action for now is to wait for the the injured tandem of Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt to return, Drellich argues.
- Although Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez suffered both his third blown save and loss of the year Saturday, the team isn’t ready to remove him from the role, according to manager Brad Ausmus (via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). “We haven’t had any discussions about using anyone else other than Frankie,” Ausmus said. “Until we decide otherwise, he’s going to be the closer.” The 35-year-old Rodriguez allowed two earned runs in an 8-7 defeat to the Athletics, and has only racked up five scoreless appearances in 12 tries this season. Across 11 1/3 innings, Rodriguez has given up eight earned runs on 17 hits and four walks.