Bob Uecker to have heart surgery

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Bob Uecker broadcasting.jpgUPDATE:  Turns out that Uecker is going to have his aortic valve replaced and his aortic root
replaced on Friday morning. The surgery was described by his doctor as “relatively common.”

Trevor Hoffman, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee, Craig Counsell and Ken Macha were all at the presser, inspiring Uecker to say that “I’m part of the team.” Uecker added “I don’t ever want to quit . . . I look forward to
coming to the park every day. That’s the highlight of the day.”

Excuse me, but it just got a bit misty in here.

3:12 P.M.: Adam McCalvy reports that Brewers’ broadcaster Bob Uecker is going to miss 10-12 weeks as a result of heart surgery, which he will undergo on Friday.  There aren’t many details yet, but the Brewers will be holding a press conference at 4:30PM eastern.

Uecker is best known to most of you as Harry Doyle from “Major League,” or the dad from “Mr. Belvedere” or — if you’re a bit older — the character from those old Miller Lite commercials from the 1970s and 80s, which were really “This is SportsCenter” before “This is SportsCenter” existed. He did a great job in those roles — and was absolutely killer on the “Tonight Show” back in the day — so that’s totally cool.

But even if he had never become as famous as he has, Uecker would be known as a really a fantastic broadcaster. He’s held the job since 1971, and if you’ve never had a chance to take in a Brewers’ game he’s doing you’ve really missed out. I was unlucky enough to get stuck in Milwaukee on a miserable three-week trial several summers ago and the only thing that made those three weeks bearable was Uecker calling Brewers games every night.  He’s got an easy delivery and demeanor that matches a midsummer night game absolutely perfectly.

Here’s hoping Uecker gets well and gets back to calling games as soon as possible.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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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.

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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.

Braves acquire Luke Jackson from the Rangers

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16:  Relief pitcher Luke Jackson #53 of the Texas Rangers  throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park on September 16, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. Texas won 14-3. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
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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.