An unidentified Mets player told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there is a prevailing feeling in the Mets’ clubhouse
that Jose Reyes is being “babied” because the team fears a public relations disaster if he hurts his hamstring again. The player said, in response to the team hemming and hawing about letting Reyes start the season in New York, that “It’s kind of silly. You play the game. You can get
hurt as easily playing [a minor league exhibition] as playing on Opening
I see the player’s point, but it’s not like the Mets can’t limit Reyes in a rehab setting in ways they can’t necessarily limit him in the bigs. He could stay in Florida for extended spring training during which he’d focus more on conditioning and running. He could, as Puma noted he did yesterday in his return to game action, be instructed not to do things like leg out doubles. He could avoid any chilly weather that might make it harder to get loose and stuff. There are potential advantages.
Ultimately this seems more like a communication and trust problem than a Reyes health problem. If the unnamed player is right and there is a strong feeling in the clubhouse that the Mets aren’t handling Reyes properly, it’s either because the team isn’t being straight with the players about it all or because the players simply don’t trust the team’s handling of injuries and rehab.
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.