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Report: The Mets are interested in Doug Fister

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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.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.