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Rangers reach deal with veteran righty Fister

27 November 2017

Fister agreed to a major-league deal with the Rangers on Sunday, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports.

The reinforcements for the Texas Rangers starting rotation have seemingly started to arrive. The free-agent, who pitched last season for the Boston Red Sox, will officially become a member of the Rangers once he passes his physical, said sources.

Walking through all of this, it's pretty obvious why Fister was signed.

Fister, 33, went 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA for the Red Sox, including a loss June 5 at Globe Life Park in which he allowed six runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings. His peripherals looked good, however, and his velocity increase helped propel him to a career-best strikeout rate (8.3 K/9).

For most, the logic is that Fister will make a successful fourth or fifth starter in the Texas rotation, unless they do not find other pitchers to fill gaping holes. Yu Darvish, who would have been a free agent now anyway, was traded in July to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Andrew Cashner opted for the free agent route.

The obvious holdover candidates to anchor the rotation are Cole Hamels and Martin Perez, though neither were great a year ago and Perez was actually below average. Nevertheless, this has the potential to be an outstanding move for the Rangers who would have otherwise had to entrust three of the five rotation spots to a combination of top-prospect Yohander Mendez (who, while solid, shouldn't be rushed), Nick Martinez, AJ Griffin, Matt Bush (who should be left in relief), Clayton Blackburn and Ronald Herrera. The Rangers need more arms that can survive a whole season in the rotation.