The Houston Astros have signed right-hander Doug Fister to a one-year deal, they announced Thursday.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, Fister will be guaranteed $7 million in 2016 and could make $12 million if all performance bonuses are reached.
The Astros had reportedly been interested in rotation depth throughout the offseason. Prior to the signing, the rotation included the likes of Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, Scott Feldman, and Lance McCullers. It's possible that Feldman could now be used in a relief role.
Fister appears to be a possible bounce-back candidate for the team next year. Always one of the best control pitchers in the league, Fister's walk rate took an unusual spike last season, resulting in the loss of a spot in the Nationals' rotation.
The Astros hope that Fister will be able to return to his 2014 form, when he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA. He struck out 98 but walked just 24 over 164 innings pitched.
If the signing does not work out, however, Houston may not have a problem. They had the eighth-best rotation ERA in the Majors last year.
Fister is just one of the handful free agent pitchers that is looking to bounce back in 2016. Others include Bronson Arroyo, Cliff Lee, Mike Minor, and Tim Lincecum. Outside of Arroyo, they are all still looking for new teams.
Last season, the soon-to-be 32-year-old Fister went 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA and a 63 to 24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 103 innings pitched with the Nationals. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement.