This time last year, Fister was on the verge of a big contract, coming off the best year of his career in his first season in Washington. He went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA and finished eighth in National League Cy Young Award voting.
But Fister's stock dropped dramatically last season. He went 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA, losing his starting spot in August. Before then, he missed a month with a flexor tendon strain.
Still, the Orioles were interested in Fister on a one-year deal with the hope that he could regain his old form. Instead, he will be inserted into an already-strong Astros rotation.
The free-agent pitching market is rapidly thinning out. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo is still out there, but he would require the Orioles to forfeit this year's first-round draft pick, something the team currently doesn't want to do.
Remaining options are possible bounce-back candidates with less upside like right-handers Mat Latos, Kyle Lohse and former Oriole Alfredo Simon.
Utility man Joey Terdoslavich, who was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster when the Orioles re-signed Chris Davis, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.
Terdoslavich was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves on Jan. 8.
The 27-year-old batted .281/.391/.452 with 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 24 RBIs in 42 games with Triple-A Gwinnett in 2015, including a .326/.431/.558 slash line against left-handed pitching. In 28 games with the Braves last season, he hit .214/.254/.375.