9:21 A.M. UPDATE: Rosenthal now reports that Podsednik is saying he has a deal with a club and that the Royals are saying they have a deal with an outfielder and that we should “put 2 and 2 together!” UPDATE: Now Jerry Crasnick has a source confirming this and that a formal announcement will come tomorrow once the physical is done.
9:00 A.M. Why everyone is talking about some college football game this morning when there’s big news like the Royals thinking about signing Scott Podsednik floating around I’ll have no idea. Priorities people.
Podsednik hit .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals and 75 runs in 132 games
after joining the White Sox on May 1. But he hit just .243/.299/.369 in
2007 and .253/.322/.333 in 2008.
His defense is generally below average (Carl Crawford can thank Podsednik for the inside the park home run he hit last July on a truly atrocious jump by Podsednik). He’s fast, but he gets caught stealing a lot. He’s a guy who can be useful if he hits .300, but he’s only done that twice in nine years and he’s going to be 34 this year.
I know I’m guilty of slamming the Royals at the drop of a hat, but I’m not doing that here. Podsednik can be marginally useful if he’s not making much money. But if the Royals give him a lot of money and expect him to be the everyday centerfielder, this would fit the profile of a lot of recent Royals signings: overpaying for a recognized name and a recent statistical bump while ignoring the guy’s overall body of work, his likely production going
forward and the fact that it could probably be replicated by any number of cheaper options.
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.