Nationals wanted to sign Doug Fister to a contract extension

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Doug Fister is finally scheduled to make his Nationals debut Friday night after spending the first six weeks of the season on the disabled list, making the offseason trade to get him from the Tigers look a little less brilliant than most people (including me) opined at the time.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post also has an interesting new tidbit about the deal, reporting that the Nationals tried to sign Fister to a long-term contract extension right after trading for him.

Washington did a similar thing after acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the A’s in 2011, but Kilgore says the talks with Fister never progressed and instead the two sides avoided arbitration with a one-year, $7.2 million deal. Fister is under team control again in 2015 via arbitration and can then become a free agent at age 32, so considering the offseason contracts guys like Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Ubaldo Jimenez received it’s easy to see him asking the Nationals for more than $50 million in any extension talks.

Video: Justin Verlander reaches career mark with 270th strikeout

Justin Verlander
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Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.

Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.

Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.

After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.