Astros add veteran Doug Fister to the starting rotation


Right-hander Doug Fister, one of the top two or three remaining free agent pitchers, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Astros. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the deal is worth $7 million, with incentives that could total another $5 million.

Fister struggled through an injury wrecked 2015 season with the Nationals and the drop in his velocity at age 31 is a potential red flag going forward, but he posted a 2.41 ERA for Washington in 2014 and had a combined 3.11 ERA in 751 innings from 2011-2014.

Houston already had a rotation of Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, Lance McCullers, and Scott Feldman, so Fister’s arrival is an interesting one. It could lead to a potential trade or may simply suggest that the team is worried about Feldman’s status following late-season shoulder problems.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.