With Steven Matz‘s strained flexor tendon, Seth Lugo‘s torn UCL, and the uncertainty surrounding whether Zack Wheeler can withstand a full season in the rotation, it has been widely speculated the Mets may look to sign one of the veteran free agent starters still on the market.
Last year, Fister, 33, made 32 starts for the Houston Astros pitching 180.1 innings. Overall, he was 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA, 1.425 WHIP, and a 5.7 K/9. This was by far the worst season of his career as evidenced by his career worst 85 ERA+ and 4.75 FIP. These results may partially be due to the fact that over the past three seasons, Fister has gone from a pitcher who threw a sinker in the low 90s to one who is throwing a sinker in the high 80s.
Despite Fister being in the midst of a three year decline and his status as a free agent, Heyman reports Fister is still holding out for a major leauge deal. With that being the case, it is of little surprise that the Mets had not previously signed Fister even with the poor state of their pitching staff in Las Vegas.
If Fister continues holding out for a major league deal, it is possible the Mets look elsewhere. Previously, MMO outlined a number of options with Colby Lewis now standing as the clear best option if Fister is off the table. It should be noted Lewis is still a free agent because he is also holding out for a major league deal.
Heyman also noted that the Mets looked into Mike Pelfrey before he signed with the White Sox.
With pitchers like Fister and Lewis holding out for major league deals, Wheeler’s start tonight may have taken on increased importance.