Yesterday I said “Holliday signs with St. Louis in the next 48 hours, right?” Fine, make it next week, but the end game approacheth
Last night Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reported
that the Cardinals and Matt Holliday are “working toward an agreement
that multiple sources described as gaining momentum.” There is no
indication that the deal they’re working on is based on any offer other
than the original Cardinals offer from several weeks ago. There is no
suggestion of other teams talking to the Holliday camp.
Indeed, assuming there are substantive talks finally happening between Holliday and the Cards, yesterday’s stuff about there being other teams involved makes perfect sense: Boras needs to be able to tell
the Cardinals that there are other teams involved in order to get a bit of leverage, and needs a couple
of reports he can hold up in an effort to support the assertion. So
what happens? Someone floats the Orioles story to Ringolsby so Boras can claim that Baltimore is interested. Someone floats the “other teams” thing to Heyman
so Boras can point to more. The funny part? I suspect that the quick
debunking of the Orioles report yesterday actually helped move these
negotiations along, in that it rendered the “other teams” gambit
transparent and forced Boras to stop playing and get down to brass tacks.
Ultimately, Holliday is going to get a big deal out of the Cardinals,
maybe as early as today. I suspect, however, that the deal is going to
hew pretty closely to the last offer the Cardinals made him, and that
there never really was any serious interest from other teams.
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.