Nationals and Doug Fister agree to deal to avoid arbitration

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The Nationals announced this morning that they have reached an agreement with Doug Fister to avoid arbitration. No word yet on the exact terms of the deal.

Fister, who was acquired from the Tigers in December, requested $8.5 million and was offered $5.75 million from the Nationals when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month. While the Nationals agreed to multi-year deals with some of their other arbitration-eligible players, including Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, general manager Mike Rizzo said last week that he expected to reach a one-year deal with Fister.

Fister turns 30 on Tuesday and owns a 3.30 ERA over the past three seasons. He is under team control through 2015.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the two sides have agreed to a one-year, $7.2 million deal, which is $825,000 above the midpoint of the arbitration figures that were exchanged earlier this month. He can earn an additional $100,000 based on innings pitched.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.