Last week, SB Nation’s own Chris Cotillo broke the news that the Angels were picking up free agent RHP Doug Fister, but there were few details known except it was a major league deal and there was a pending a physical that needed to be passed. Fister was most recently with the Astros in 2016, when he posted 1.9 fWAR, meanwhile the Halos were known to be looking at all options to help bolster their staff that had been (yet again) snakebit in the injury department.
Yesterday, with the deal now official, the terms and details of the deal that Billy Eppler gave to Fister were announced. The 33 year old Fister has himself a one-year deal, worth $1.75M, with the possibility of making $1.2M extra based on how well he can perform, via incentives.
Fans also learned that $1 mil of the contract’s incentives are based on him starting, $200,000 tied to him being a reliever. To be even more specific, here’s how it’ll work: Fister will get $100,000 for making it to his 8th, 10th and 12th starts, not to mention $150,000 for his 14th, 16th and 18th starts, and a whopping $250,000 if he can get to the 20th game started mark. That’s on top of the $50,000 for making 25 and 30 relief appearances and $100,000 for his hypothetical 35th relief appearance.
The Angels want this guy to be in the rotation, as the fifth starter, and with a deal like that, I’m sure Fister is going to be doing whatever he can to stay in shape and hit each of those games started jackpots. The bad news is that Andrew Bailey was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Fister, which is a bummer because it not only reminds us that Bailey is still out, but that he’s not close to returning, either.
There wont be any immediate help, of course, as the aging righty has been on the shelf for a bit, so he’s going to have to get up to MLB speed. I’d assume the Halos will want to get at least three minor league starts out of him before putting him in the big league rotation, but an interesting aspect of the deal is that Fister has an out clause which states he will be released if he’s not on the major league roster by June 21.
That gives a good out for the Halos, as they can let him walk in late June, no harm/no foul. It’ll be interesting to see what Fister can bring to the table. Comparing his ‘16 season to the rest of the Angels’ beleaguered ‘16 squad, he would have been helpful to have. This season, though, we don’t really know what, if anything, he can bring to the table. Our own Rahul, last week, said he has an arm and can use said arm to throw a baseball. My expectations will be set accordingly.