A couple of AL West transactiony things that, upon reading them, made me say “well, duh”:
- The Angels are not likely to bring Hideki Matsui back next year. Godzilla has hit pretty darn well over the past month. But it’s still been a down season for him overall, he’s a free agent after the season is over, he’s 36, he can’t play defense anymore and the Angels have given off approximately 136 signals this year that they intend to use Bobby Abreu as their DH next season. But other than that . . .
- The Rangers are going to bring back Ron Washington as their manager next year. Texas may be struggling right now, but this has been a fine season for them and there have been umpteen stories about how great the atmosphere is in the Rangers’ clubhouse, thanks in large part to Washington. With all of the distractions surrounding the sale of the club — distractions which filtered down through the front office and caused at least some job security anxiety among Rangers’ employees — it would have been easy for gloominess to seep into the clubhouse too. It didn’t, and Washington deserves a lot of the credit for that.
Next reports I expect to see: the Mariners may make a change or two this winter and Jerry Manuel could be on the hot seat in New York.
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.