The Washington Nationals might have pulled off the steal of the off-season when they acquired Doug Fister in a trade with the Detroit Tigers. We will find out for sure once he actually takes the mound for the Nats. That will happen for the first time on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Perhaps knowing the value they had in Fister as a middle of the rotation guy, the Nationals reportedly tried to sign Fister to a long-term extension this off-season before he ever threw a pitch for them. Per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:
After they acquired Fister this winter from the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals approached Fister with the hope of signing him to a long-term contract extension, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
The talks never gained traction, and Fister ultimately signed a one-year, $7.2 million contract to avoid arbitration. The Nationals control Fister’s contractual rights through 2015, when he will again be eligible for arbitration.”
At 30 years old, Fister has been the model of consistency in his career. While his overall record is below .500, he possesses a 3.23 career ERA, has pitched at least 160 innings the last five seasons and has thrown 200 or more innings three times. Pending good health, this might not be the last time that the Nats try to keep Fister around beyond 2015.