The Texas Rangers have made the first move toward replenishing their starting rotation, agreeing on a contract with free-agent right-hander Doug Fister, a former Tiger.
A person familiar with the move told The Associated Press that the completion of the deal was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because that process wasn’t finished.
The 33-year-old Fister is one of the first free agents to sign. He started 15 of his 18 games with the Boston Red Sox last season. He was 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA.
Fister joins a Rangers team looking to fill three rotation spots behind left-handers Cole Hamels and Martin Perez. Texas also is interested in Shohei Ohtani, the star pitcher-hitter from Japan.
The deal is for $4 million, with a base salary of $3.5 million next season plus potential incentives, and a club option for 2019 that includes a $500,000 buyout.
Fister was among the final free agents to sign last season, agreeing in May to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He made three Triple-A starts before he was released and claimed off waivers by the Red Sox. He made his debut with Boston on June 25.
In 230 games over the past nine major league seasons with five different teams, Fister was 82-85 with a 3.68 ERA. His best season was with Washington in 2014, when he was 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts. He was 5-7 for the Nationals in 2015 before becoming a free agent, then went 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 32 starts for Houston in 2016.
Yu Darvish was traded by Texas to the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31. Tyson Ross was released in September, and the Rangers said after the season they wouldn’t make a $17.4 million qualifying offer for free agent Andrew Cashner, who is seeking a multiyear deal after going 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in his only season in Texas.
PLAYOFF SHARES ANNOUNCED
The value of a full postseason share on the World Series champion Houston Astros was worth a record $438,902 this year. The previous mark was $388,606 for the 2014 San Francisco Giants. A full share declined to $370,069 for the 2015 Kansas City Royals and $368,872 for the 2016 Chicago Cubs.
Major League Baseball said Monday the players’ pool was a record $84.5 million, up from $76.6 million last year and $69.9 million in 2015.
Houston split $30.4 million into 60 full shares, 9.23 partial shares and four cash awards. Ex-Tiger Justin Verlander has pledged his share to charity.
Last year’s Cubs had 66 full shares, 8.7 partial shares and four cash awards.
A full share on the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost the Series in seven games, was worth $259,722. That was down from $261,805 for last year’s Cleveland Indians and $300,758 for the 2015 New York Mets, a record for a World Series loser.
MARINERS BRING BACK IWAKUMA
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Seattle Mariners and will report to major league spring training.
The deal announced Monday keeps Iwakuma with the only organization he has pitched for in the majors.
Iwakuma, 36, managed just six starts last season due to shoulder problems that caused him to go on the disabled list in May and setbacks during his recovery. He was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA. Iwakuma had right shoulder debridement surgery on Sept. 27 and is expected to start throwing in late February or early March.
Iwakuma has spent six seasons with the Mariners and has a career mark of 63-39 with a 3.42 ERA during his time in Seattle.