The Mariners’ search for a starting pitcher has reportedly reached far and wide, but for one reason or another, they remain connected to old friend Doug Fister:
#Mariners have shown interest in free agent Doug Fister, as @TNT_Mariners first reported. Seattle wants a starter. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 19, 2016
This is the second time this offseason we’ve heard murmurs of a potential reunion between the Mariners and the 32-year-old righty.
In 180.1 IP with the Houston Astros last season, Fister posted a 1.1 fWAR and a career-high 3.09 BB/9. The bump in walks and a sudden penchant for hard contact bumped his xFIP up to an ugly 4.89 mark.
Two years ago, this would be a highly intriguing move by the front office, but at this point in time Fister represents a tolerable No. 5 at best. Even if a signing were to be made, it’s hard to imagine the Mariners considering this a definitive solution to the rotation issues.
Lookout Landing’s Jake Mailhot had this to say when the Mariners were initially linked to Fister back in late November:
Somehow, Doug Fister pitched 180 innings last year for an Astros team that desperately needed starting pitching help. A huge spike in his walk rate over the last two years has led to a corresponding spike in runs allowed. Unless he’s able to find his command again, his repertoire of pitches just isn’t good enough to fool batters anymore. A reunion wouldn’t be the worst signing but there are better options out there.