Los Angeles Angels reportedly sign veteran starter Doug Fister

The Los Angeles Angels have reportedly struck a deal with a pitcher who posted a 2.41 ERA just three seasons ago.

For quite a while now, many have been wondering when starting pitcher Doug Fister would finally find a new job. It appears that the wait is now over. According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Los Angeles Angels have now agreed to a major league contract with Fister.

Fister, now 33 years of age, began his career with the Seattle Mariners. In the summer of 2011, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers before the trade deadline and proved to be an excellent under-the-radar addition. He went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA and an 0.84 WHIP over 11 games (10 starts) and helped lead Detroit to their first-ever AL Central title and their first playoff berth since 2006.

Over the next two seasons in Detroit, Fister went 24-19 with a 3.57 ERA (118 ERA+) and a 1.26 WHIP. Over this same stretch, he was worth 7.6 fWAR and had an elite groundball rate of 52.9 percent. After the 2013 season, the Tigers sent Fister to the Washington Nationals and received Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi and Ian Krol in exchange. Many felt that Detroit was robbed in the deal.

Although Fister began the 2014 campaign on the DL, he ended up having a great first year in Washingon, going 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA (155 ERA+) and a 1.08 WHIP. His strong season earned him an eighth-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting.

Recent Decline

The past two years, however, have not been nearly as kind to Fister. Though he has still shown flashes of his former self at times, the overall numbers simply have not been as good.

In 2015, the 6-foot-8-inch right-hander spent time on the disabled list with a forearm injury and ultimately lost his spot in the Nationals’ rotation. Through 25 games (15 starts) he ended up going just 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA (95 ERA+) and a 1.40 WHIP.

Fister spent the 2016 season with the Houston Astros and had a nice first half, going 8-6 with a 3.55 ERA over 17 starts. However, the wheels seemed to come off in the second half and he ended up going 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA (84 ERA+) and a 1.43 WHIP on the season.

If Fister is indeed headed to Los Angeles, he will be joining a staff that has had to endure injuries to both Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs. Though Fister may not be what he once was, he certainly still has the potential to make the Angels’ rotation deeper. It is quite possible that he still has the ability to bounce back and surprise people as well.

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