1:15pm: Cotillo tweets that Fister will be added directly to the Red Sox’ Major League roster.
12:40pm: The Red Sox have claimed righty Doug Fister off release waivers, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). The signing is a reunion of sorts for Fister, who previously spent two and a half seasons with the Tigers when Dave Dombrowski was Detroit’s general manager. Because he was claimed off release waivers, Fister will have the option to reject the claim and hit free agency, though he’d be turning a way a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster, so that route seems unlikely.
By making the claim, the Red Sox are agreeing to take on Fister’s existing contract, which came with a $1.75MM salary (pro-rated) for any time spent in the Majors, Cotillo reported at the time of the signing. He can also earn up to $1MM worth of incentives based on games started or $200K based on relief work, per the associated press. It’s not clear whether Fister will head to Triple-A or join Boston’s big league staff, though he is tuned up to the point where he could conceivably step into manager John Farrell’s rotation.
Fister made three starts with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, totaling 15 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts against five walks. Of course, most of his success came in his first minor league outing (five innings, one run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts). Fister was hit a bit harder in his second and third outings, yielding six runs in 10 2/3 innings with more walks (four) than punchouts (three).
Fister, though, has a lengthy track record of success in the big leagues and should provide some depth to a rotation that currently has options Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias on the disabled list. While it’s been a few years since he posted above-average marks as a starter, Fister did take the ball for 32 starts as a member of the 2016 Astros, working to a 4.64 ERA across 180 1/3 innings in the Houston rotation.