Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that at least five teams have looked at free agent right-hander Doug Fister over the last week. Fister held a pitching showcase for interested teams last Thursday, which was attended by the Mets, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Angels. Per Cotillo, the Mets are considering inking Fister to a major league contract, though a clear frontrunner has yet to emerge for the right-hander’s services.
Fister, 33, is coming off of an unsuccessful stint with the Astros. He appeared to have made a full recovery after dealing with forearm tightness and shoulder issues in 2014-15, and signed a one-year, $7 million contract with Houston for the 2016 season. His results off the mound weren’t quite up to par, however, returning a career-worst 4.64 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 5.7 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with the club.
The potential signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mets, whose rotation has taken a hit after losing Noah Syndergaard to a lat injury, losing Seth Lugo to a torn UCL, benching Matt Harvey for an undisclosed team policy violation and waiting out Steven Matz‘s lengthy recovery from left elbow inflammation.
They’re not the only team looking to patch holes, however. The Blue Jays and Angels’ rotations rank among the bottom 10 teams in the majors, while the Giants (another team to take a flyer on Fister last week) are struggling to keep their heads above water after losing Madison Bumgarner to a motorbike injury last month. The Diamondbacks are by far the most successful of Fister’s suitors, though Cotillo points out that they’re currently operating without right-hander Shelby Miller and could use the extra depth.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.
I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.
Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.
They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.
As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.
Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.