UPDATE: Now Jon Paul Morosi reports that, yes, they M’s and Bedard are close to a one year deal, though at this rate that could change five times by dinner.
And with that I’ve just about had it with the Hot Stove season. Someone sign Johnny Damon, everyone else start playing long toss and doing wind sprints and let’s get down to some freakin’ baseball, OK?
3:18 P.M.: Larry LaRue of the News-Tribune spoke with Bedard, who says no, the Mariners have not made an offer, contradicting Jim Street’s earlier reports (see below). There is mutual interest, but at this point, nothin’s happening.
At this point I’d like to ask the question Aaron asked the other day: If the erroneous report had come from a blogger rather than a guy with a long newspaper pedigree like Street, wouldn’t people be beefing about it? I kinda think they would.
9:57 A.M.: MLB.com’s Jim Street is reporting that the Mariners and Erik Bedard have reached an incentive-laden deal for 2010. Base: $1.5 million. Bedard, as you are no doubt aware, Bedard is coming off of shoulder surgery and won’t be ready to go to start the season. He pitched well last year before getting hurt, and assuming there are no hiccups in rehab, having him join the rotation in, say, July, would be like making a big trade or something. And this time the Mariners wouldn’t have to give up Adam Jones for him!
But before any Mariners (or Bedard fans, or Bedard’s mom) gets excited about this, it’s worth noting that Street’s report — two reports mashed into one blog post, actually — have been a bit squirrelly. Yesterday he referred to the potential deal as “rumblings in blogo-land.” Today he says he heard it from another writer. It’s all less concrete than even your typically mushy hot stove reports.
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.