Troy Taormina, USA Today

Storylines: Doug Fister close to signing with a new team

After an extended offseason, veteran pitcher Doug Fister is reportedly close to finally signing with an unknown team. That and all the other news and notes from around baseball on Tuesday…

Top Storyline:

- Right-hander Doug Fister has had a long offseason. His offseason has actually extended into the regular season as he has failed to attract any interest from teams looking for a veteran starting pitcher. It’s been quite a drop-off for the righty since his strong performance from 2012-2014 between the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals. The wait may finally be over for him as he is reportedly close to signing a new team per Jon Heyman of FanRag. Fister was hoping to capitalize on a bounce-back season when he signed a one-year deal with the Houston Astros. Unfortunately, he put up uninspiring numbers as he tossed a 4.64 ERA across 180.1 innings of work through 33 starts with a career-high 3.1 BB/9 ratio. He just hasn’t been able to resemble the form of a reliable and underrated pitcher that was part of one of the best rotations in baseball during his time with the Tigers and Nationals. It is being reported that he is likely to sign with a National League team though that team is not known. The New York Mets had previously been reported to have interest in him due to the rash of injuries to their pitching staff, but it appears the Mets are not involved in his market right now. It looks like Fister will either be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks or San Francisco Giants. 

Other Storylines:

- The Baltimore Orioles will be without star closer Zach Britton for up to two months. The southpaw will be sidelined for about six-to-eight weeks per Brit Ghiroli. The MRI results on Britton’s forearm have shown there is nothing structurally wrong but because it is the second time he has suffered a forearm strain in as many weeks, the Orioles want to give him ample time to rest his arm and get his strength back, hence why his recovery time will be longer this time around.

- San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon is going to be missing a bit of time. The Giants are sending their closer to the 10-day DL with a mild right pronator strain located in his forearm per Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. The Giants are reportedly optimistic. The injury is mild but to lose another key pitcher on their staff could not come at a worse time when they are struggling to win games and falling further back in the NL West.

- The Detroit Tigers are making a huge change to their bullpen. Veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez has been removed the closer’s role and will be replaced by southpaw Justin Wilson per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. As surprising as it is to see Rodriguez lose his job, it seems like it was overdue as he has four blown saves already in the season and a bloated 8.49 ERA in 13 appearances.

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