There are no offers on the table and no negotiations afoot — hell, Prince Fielder isn’t even eligible for free agency until the 2011 season is complete — but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Gary Howard is daydreaming about the Brewers locking him up all the same, building up to this:
So I figure a sweet, five-year, $100 million offer (even you can’t
afford seven, like his agent, Scott “Pay Me!” Boras, would prefer) with
incentives might, just might, get ‘er done. He’s not the “I” in team,
no; he’s just the T, the E, the A and the M . . . It’s just that – without any inside dope on his intentions – I
feel he would take a five-year deal at $20 million per to see what he
could do with the Brewers. Every great baseball player wants to be the
straw. And by anyone’s standards, Prince is just that for this Crew but
maybe not for another club, incentive enough to re-sign with Milwaukee.
I like the optimism, but the odds of the Scott Boras-repped Prince Fielder accepting a $100 million deal two years before he reaches the market is absurd. He’ll be 27 when he reaches free agency. The last under-30, Scott Boras free agent first baseman — a fellow by the name of Mark Teixeira — got $180 million. Sure, Teixeira is the better defender and may age better than the stout young man in Milwaukee, but you can bet your life on the fact that $180 million will be Fielder’s starting point.
Will he get that? Heck, I don’t know, but I think the odds of it happening are greater than the odds of him even responding to a $100 million offer at this early date.
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.