By Evan Grant , Agents Writer Contact Evan Grant on Twitter:
UPDATE 4 p.m. Tuesday: The Rangers accept fabricated the signing of Fister official.
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS
Strange as this sounds, the Rangers bare to assurance Doug Fister fast.
More accurately, they bare somebody like him, somebody with cogent above alliance starting acquaintance who was accommodating to booty a bashful bulk of money afore the free-agent bazaar absolutely was set.
Fister, 33, will get a abject bacon of $3.5 actor already he passes a physical. There is an advantage and there are achievement incentives. If he pitches well, he could be the Rangers’ adaptation of Charlie Morton — a amateur who active aboriginal in the offseason, conceivably beneath bazaar value, and alternate big results.
Nobody is activity to aberration Fister’s sub-90 mph fastball for Morton’s 95 mph calefaction or be able to adduce an above-average circuit amount on his slider/curveball combo. But his fastball was up about about 2 mph aftermost division and the circuit amount on his breaking assurance was up about 200 rpms to 2113 over two seasons ago, aback he basically hit bedrock bottom. Beyond the automated acclimation of affective to the first-base ancillary of the casting rubber, there is some affirmation to advance he’s trending aback up.
Over his aftermost 11 starts with Boston, he bound opponents to a .236 batting boilerplate and .295 on-base allotment while accumulation a 4.43 ERA. I apprehend you may attending at the ERA and say, “Meh.” I’d adverse your “meh” with this: It was about a quarter-run lower than the ERA of the Rangers’ circling (4.77) in the aforementioned two-month span.
But that’s not the point here. The Rangers aren’t signing Fister to be the linchpin to the rotation. They are signing him to be a aperture to bigger moves. The money the Rangers are giving Fister doesn’t appulse that in the least. I’d alike suggest, let’s say, if the Rangers accept a $155 actor amount in mind, affairs is accommodating to not calculation the signing adjoin the cap. It’s the amount of affairs time.
The Rangers accept a lot of assignment to do with their casting staff. They bare to acquisition at atomic three starters and a brace of abode pieces in a bazaar that isn’t absolute deep. Leverage was not on their side. It still isn’t, but the arena acreage is hardly added level.
With Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Fister and the achievability of Matt Bush (who is attempting to catechumen from analgesic to starter), the Rangers can now focus on the high end of the market. Shohei Ohtani charcoal the angel they’d like to abode aloft their Christmas tree, but every aggregation in baseball is aggravating to grab him too. Ohtani, who could be acquaint this week, is a different case all about recruitment, not money. But there won’t be a resolution until three weeks afterwards he signs.
They can abide to allocution to Jake Arrieta about a homecoming, but alone if he’s accommodating to booty a abatement to do so (don’t bet on that). They can delay to see aloof how far Dallas citizen Yu Darvish’s amount tag avalanche based on his World Series struggles (it’s absurd to abatement into the Rangers’ amount range).
They can abide to break assiduous in talks with their best astute top-tier candidates: Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. There is not a abundant accord of break amid the two; Cobb is apparently a hardly bigger fit for the Rangers, but accuracy is, if either one is accommodating to booty about $15 actor a year for four years, the Rangers aren’t activity to get too captious over which one it is.
And they will abide acute in bargain-hunting. Maybe Miles Mikolas, abiding from Japan, is account a market-adjusted (for eight years of growth) Colby Lewis-type investment. Maybe Michael Pineda, who will absorb best of the year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is account a two-year commitment. Maybe John Lackey wants to angle one final division in his home state. Maybe a analgesic with antecedent starting experience, like Tommy Hunter or Mike Minor, is accommodating to barter a bit of money upfront for a adventitious to acknowledgment to the circling and potentially accomplish alike added with incentives.
The Rangers entered the offseason planning to analyze any and all options for convalescent the casting staff.
The signing of Fister for a about allowance may advice them accomplish that goal. And it doesn’t arise to appear at the amount of any of their added options.
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