Good bet that something's wrong with Pedro

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The Mets have a pretty glaring hole in that number five starter slot. Pedro Martinez is still available for the taking. Mets GM Omar Minaya
loves Pedro. Mets fans love Pedro. The front office has a history
(usually) of being very cognizant of what the fans want. So that
equation should equal Pedro back in Queens, right?

That this hasn’t happened yet, or if it doesn’t happen after Tim Redding
struggles in Pittsburgh on Thursday, is probably a good indicator that
Pedro isn’t physically right. Because if he was, given Minaya’s
infatuation with the player and his tendency to jump at an available
commodity that he cherishes, Pedro would be in the Mets rotation, $5
million a year or otherwise.

Ollie Perez struggled mightily (maybe not a strong enough word)
before landing on the DL, and a setback in his rehab means he’s still
weeks away from returning. They gave Jon Niese a shot early in
May, but after a nice outing against the Pirates, he was ripped by the
Braves and sent back down. Redding pitched well in his first try in LA,
but has been vintage Redding over his past two starts (8.2 IP, 13 ER, 2
L) and more of the same should be expected. Plus there’s the curious
case of Livan Hernandez, who has shockingly been pretty damn
good in five of his last six (3.03 ERA, 4-2 team record) . The Mets
shouldn’t be banking on that to continue.

So why not Pedro? He couldn’t be worse that Ollie or Redding or
Niese, right? Teammates all love the guy so he wouldn’t be causing any
dreaded chemistry problems. That $5 million price tag isn’t $5 million
anymore now that we’re almost a third of the way home. Plenty of Mets
fans are begging to see him pitch again – including this one, who, for
mostly sentimental reasons, wishes Pedro could get a crack at a
postseason with the Mets, since his signing was a huge driving force
behind the Mets becoming relevant again.

The risk of signing him doesn’t appear to be that high, so we’ll
take a guess that it’s either the shoulder or the toe or the hammy or
something that is probably still jacked up (or if it isn’t now, is on
the verge of disintegrating). Or maybe Omar has a trade in the works
for more of a frontline starter (Peavy? Oswalt? Other?).

But if someone does sign him, hopefully it’s not the Phillies. Don’t wanna have to root against the guy.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.

Braves acquire Luke Jackson from the Rangers

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16:  Relief pitcher Luke Jackson #53 of the Texas Rangers  throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park on September 16, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. Texas won 14-3. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
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Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.

Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.

Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.

Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.