Seattle Mariners rumors indicate a lot of interest in Doug Fister. Fister pitched from 2009-2011 for the Mariners, giving the team a dependable right-handed starter in the rotation. A report by the Seattle Times in early December originally linked the Mariners to Fister again, with the Winter Meetings serving as a backdrop to a possible reunion.
It now appears that the Mariners are still exploring Fister as an option to add to the starting rotation. The chatter about a possible signing had quieted down, but behind the scenes, it seems that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has been keeping tabs on the situation. A new report by MLB analyst Jon Morosi confirms that the Mariners are still interested in signing Fister.
Doug Fister was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He would end up pitching about three seasons with the Mariners, but it came during a time when the offense was struggling to give any of the starting pitchers run support. Fister posted an ugly 12-30 record over 59 starts for the Mariners but did have a nice ERA of 3.81 and a WHIP of 1.238 in 378 innings.
These Seattle Mariners rumors make sense, not just because Fister could easily pitch 200 innings during the 2017 MLB season, but because fans of the team are already familiar with what he can do on the mound. Fister is the perfect pitcher to bring back to Safeco Field, as he knows how to pitch to the stadium and has had a lot of past success there. In 39 career starts at Safeco Field, Fister has a 3.57 ERA and 1.177 WHIP; numbers that could translate to a lot of additional future success for the Mariners.
As with anything, Fister signing with the Mariners could come down to money. He made $7 million with the Houston Astros during the 2016 MLB season, following a year where he made $11 million for the Washington Nationals. Fister did struggle a bit with the Astros, posting a 4.64 ERA and 1.465 WHIP, suggesting that he could be a very affordable option to any team needing pitching depth. Depth is exactly what the Mariners could use after trading Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the team did acquire more pitching by dealing former first-round pick Alex Jackson to the Atlanta Braves. The Mariners received right-handed pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse, both of whom should get a shot at joining the 25-man roster during Spring Training. While both players could wind up starting the season with Triple-A Tacoma, Whalen and Povse have long-term projections of pitching at Safeco Field.
If these Seattle Mariners rumors are true and Jerry Dipoto really wants to sign Doug Fister, then he should make a quick move to get the deal done. The Houston Astros are still trying to acquire more starting pitching, and if the team strikes out in free agency as well as the trade market, then they could turn back to a familiar face in Fister. It could also create a bidding war for a starting pitching who slots best as a No. 4 or No. 5 guy in the rotation.
An updated depth chart from MLB.com has the projected starting rotation for the Mariners in 2017. The site lists Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Ariel Miranda, and Nathan Karns. Rob Whalen and the recently acquired Chris Heston are expected to also compete for a starting role. Spring Training could be a very competitive atmosphere when it comes to the pitching spots, but these latest Seattle Mariners rumors appear to indicate that Dipoto wants to have at least one more arm in the mix.
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