You wouldn’t think that a couple of coaches being fired in Pittsburgh would make that big a fuss, but Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho’s firings have tongues wagging all over the Pittsburgh sports blogosphere.
The Baseball Codes blog does some historical digging, and via the mining of some past reporting on Kerrigan — specifically, in Joe Torre’s memoir and some reporting by Tracy Ringolsby — notes that he has a reputation for being a “clubhouse mole,” who reports things behind the manager’s back and back up to the front office on a regular basis.
InsidePittsburghSports.com went further in its Sunday night report:
“One veteran front-office executive said this of Kerrigan upon his
hiring by the Pirates, ‘John Russell better have his head on a swivel
because he has a manager killer on his staff now. Joe Kerrigan might be
the biggest backstabber in baseball.'”
So much drama in the PNC, it was gettin’ hard being manager Jim Tra-cy.
Well, it’s John Russell, but that doesn’t work with the rhyme. And really, does it matter at this point in the season?
(thanks to reader Bill S. for the heads up)
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.