MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Fister's focus on Nationals, not pending free agency

Righty declines to speak about his future

Fister's focus on Nationals, not pending free agency

VIERA, Fla. -- Right-hander Doug Fister is entering his second year with the Nationals, and it sounds like he can't wait for the season to get started. It helps that Fister will be reunited with good friend Max Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract last month.

The right-handers had been teammates for two-plus seasons with the Tigers and helped Detroit reach the World Series in 2012.

"[Having Scherzer] is going to be a huge thing for us. It's an honor to have him back. It's going to be a great addition for us," said Fister, who led the Nationals in victories with 16 last year. "He is an incredible guy. … He has a wealth of knowledge, has the ability to execute and go out there and play ball. He is a guy that goes out there and battles for you. That's what you want as a teammate."

Outlook: Fister, SP, WSH

How long this reunion will last is anybody's guess. A free agent after this season, Fister declined to talk about his future. He is focused on 2015 and doesn't think there's any pressure to have a good season before free agency. Fister plans to block out free agency -- for now -- just like when he was subjected to trade rumors when he was with the Mariners and Tigers.

"Pressure is what you put on yourself. I want to enjoy the moment as it is," Fister said. "I've prepared this offseason as I always do. I'm trying to be healthy as possible, be consistent as possible. I want to enjoy the moment with these guys.

"We reached a certain point last year. We didn't quite make our goal. We have some experience under our belt. We have some new knowledge about ourselves. I think that's going to be a huge help for us -- what we need to do, what we can do, what we want to do. We learned about ourselves, about what we can do. ... Whatever we do, we are going to be proud of it."

Asked how much he wants to stay with the Nationals past 2015, Fister said, "I'm wearing this jersey right now. That's the most important thing. I'm a National through and through. I'm proud of it. If it looks like I can stay here, great. If not, I've just got to make sure I get my job done, be part of the team I'm part of."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.