Veteran right-hander Doug Fister was granted his release on Wednesday from the Los Angeles Angels after exercising his opt-out clause. After making three starts in Triple-A posting a 4.02 ERA over 15 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts, the Halos opted not to promote Fister to the 25-man roster. With so many contending teams in need of a major league arm, Fister made the right move to elect free agency.
“We had asked him if that was something that he would be able to do, but I think at this point he felt that he was ready to go, ready to contribute back at the Major League level,” Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said. “Contractually, it was within his right, and he exercised his right.” Now, the veteran is on the open market and up for grabs.
Which brings me to the premise of my column, Dave Dombrowski needs to just add the veteran starter. The Boston Red Sox can either claim him on release waivers over the next 24 hours and Fister will receive the prorated $1.75M salary agreed upon with LA, or just wait for him to clear waivers and negotiate a new deal and perhaps send him to Pawtucket for a few starts before they feel comfortable with him on the mound at Fenway.
Personally, I would claim Fister and immediately plug him into the Red Sox rotation. Dombrowski had Fister with him back in Detroit and he will have a familiar face to ease any tension coming into Boston with Rick Porcello. Not to mention the Red Sox are stretched thin at starter with Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson on the DL and Steven Wright done for the season. Fister was 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA over three seasons with Dombrowski in Detroit from ’11-’13 while logging over 440 innings pitched.
Fister in 33, has the experience in big games and the ground ball pitcher will benefit from the added better defensive infield with Deven Marrero as the regular at the hot corner opposed to the error machine in Pablo Sandoval. I don’t know about you, but Fister at that contract is exactly what this team needs now. Innings, durable and a guy that can keep the ball down and get outs despite the struggles in recent years. Plus, when the substitute is Hector Velazquez, a free agent signed from the Mexican League who’s best pitch is a Reagan era fastball with hardly any life behind it, I’ll take Fister.
Do the right thing Dave, sign/claim Doug Fister and stabilize the Red Sox rotation through the dog days of summer.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank