Yesterday wasn’t a holiday in Canada, and MLB.com’s Blue Jays guy Jordan Bastian used his working day to get some dish from Toronto. Among the items he learned:
- Catcher Rod Barajas is not likely coming back. The Jays won’t offer him a multi-year deal, and other teams may, so the team will go in another direction. Add the Jays to the list of teams interested in Yorvit Torrealba. OK, that list is only two teams long right now, but two makes a list, right?
- Slugging outfield prospect Travis Snider has no guaranteed job next spring. He was a little underwhelming in 276 plate appearances last season, but the dude is only 21 years old. A team that looks to basically be tearing down and rebuilding probably shouldn’t be in the business of blocking young guys like Snider.
The upshot of these two items is that the Jays now will be looking for an outfielder and a catcher. This is problematic, as they are already apparently preoccupied with signing another half dozen or so shortstops, and the winter is only so long.
Oh, and they may be preoccupied with other things too. Such as their parent corporation laying off nearly a thousand employees. Blue Jays fever: Catch it!
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
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.
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.
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.