Doug Fister cleared to return from sore elbow this Saturday

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Via Mark Zuckmeran of CSN Washington’s Nats Insider:

VIERA, Fla. — Three weeks removed from his first (and only) appearance in a Grapefruit League this spring, Doug Fister is ready to face big-league hitters again.

Fister, out since March 2 with elbow inflammation, is scheduled start Saturday against the Marlins, Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Fister threw two-plus innings in a minor league game on Monday and experienced no discomfort in his shoulder.

He is scheduled to go three innings (or 45 pitches — whichever comes first) in his return to Grapefruit League action on Saturday afternoon versus the Marlins and the hope is that he won’t have to miss a single turn in the Nationals’ regular-season starting rotation.

Fister was acquired from the Tigers this winter infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Robbie Ray and Ian Krol. The 30-year-old right-hander had a steady 3.67 ERA in 208 2/3 innings last season with Detroit.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.