Nationals rumors: Doug Fister, Washington failed to agree on extension

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals' effort to extend their recent acquisition ended in failure.

The Washington Nationals reportedly made an attempt at locking up 30-year-old pitcher Doug Fister this offseason, according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. The two sides were ultimately unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal, and instead came to terms on a one-year, $7.2 million contract for 2014 only. The Nationals acquired the right-hander in a trade with the Detroit Tigers in early December.

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Fister isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season, so Washington controls his rights for roughly the next two seasons (including this year).  Considering his recent performance, Fister would command a hefty premium were he to reach the open market. Over the past three years, he has averaged a 3.30 ERA (124 ERA+), 3.21 FIP, 6.8 K/9, and 1.8 BB/9 in 196 innings pitched. He has accumulated 13.3 WAR in that span, including a 4.6 tally last season.

Washington hasn't shied away from locking up (or at least trying to) its starters long-term in the recent past, giving Gio Gonzalez a five-year, $42.5 million deal after acquiring him from the Athletics before the 2012 season. The club also made an effort to extend Jordan Zimmermann this offseason, but their attempt failed, and the two sides settled on a two-year, $24 million deal that locked him up for the next two seasons, but didn't give them any extra years of team control (Zimmermann can be a free agent following the 2015 season as well).

Fister has yet to make his debut for Washington this season due to a lat strain that he suffered in Spring Training. He is expected to make his first start of the season on Friday against the Oakland Athletics.

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