Doug Fister remains without a contract with less than a month until pitchers and catchers report. The right-hander, however, has at least one team keeping a close eye on him at the moment.
That would be the Baltimore Orioles, whose GM Dan Duquette confirmed the team's interest to MLB Network Radio on Friday:
Duquette on Doug Fister "Fister is interesting, bounce back candidate. I can't say we've made an offer but we've been monitoring his market"
— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 22, 2016
Fister's value has been diminished by a down-year in 2015, one that saw him lose his starting role in Washington. Fister - who turns 32 next month - went 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA this past season. He made 15 starts before getting supplanted by rookie Joe Ross in the Nationals' rotation.
Fister spent some time on the disabled list in 2015 with right forearm tightness and was overall just not the same guy he was the year before. In 2014, Fister was the Nats' most consistent starter with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts. Fister finished eighth in NL Cy Young voting, went 16-6 and led the Nats to their only playoff victory over the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.
That was in Fister's first year in Washington. He was acquired two offseasons ago in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.
Fister was not extended a qualifying offer by the Nationals after the 2015 World Series, so he won't cost a team a draft pick to sign. One has to wonder what he is holding out for, and whether a one-year, prove-it deal would be his best option at this point.