Alex Gordon broke his right thumb on March 6 and manager Trey Hillman admitted yesterday that the Royals’ third baseman will begin the season on the disabled list.
Gordon initially received a recovery timetable of 3-4 weeks, which gave him some chance to be ready for Opening Day, but Hillman explained that “it’s not going to happen” because the Royals don’t want to “force it” and risk setting him back even further:
No. 1, it’s unfair to him to rush something like this. I’m sure he’s tough enough to endure the pain of it. That’s not the issue. It’s a matter of re-injuring the thumb if we try to get in the reps that he needs to get to break with the major-league team.
Alberto Callaspo will replace Gordon at third base and may also bat third in the Royals’ lineup after hitting .300/.356/.457 with 11 homers and 60 total extra-base hits in 155 games last season.
Prior to Gordon’s injury Callaspo was battling Chris Getz for the starting job at second base and the team wasn’t exactly thrilled with his defense there, so the broken thumb keeps the Royals from potentially benching their second-best hitter from a season ago.
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.