Veteran pitcher Doug Fister opted out of his contract with the Angels and is now a free agent, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. The club signed Fister to a minor league contract last month, which included an opt-out date for June 21.
Fister, 33, had so-so results in three starts with Triple-A Salt Lake, yielding seven runs (all earned) on 16 hits with five walks and 10 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. It’s not clear why he decided to opt out, but he may have been told he wouldn’t be joining the major league rotation anytime soon.
Fister is now on release waivers for the next 48 hours after which he can search elsewhere for a home, presumably with a team that will give him a better shot at returning to the majors.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.