The Best: The 70s and the early 80s were a disaster for so many teams, but man, I really like the old Harvey’s Wallbangers look. Lose the pullovers if you must — that’s what they do for throwback day now — and I suppose the powder blue is negotiable, but the Brewers without pinstripes, yellow accents, and that mitt logo on the cap just aren’t the Brewers to me.
Worst: I don’t like what they wear today. It looks like a uniform designed by a focus group. It’s stock baseball clothing: “Tasteful, Inoffensive Ballclub #2” or something. Milwaukee is a city with a colorful history and citizenry. Their uniforms should have a some pizazz. More to the point, at one time they sported a definitive look that was unmistakably their own and which no one had a problem with that I’m aware of, and they shouldn’t be rocking any other looks. Oh, and since we’re going with the entire franchise’s history, can we stipulate that the Seattle Pilots looked terrible? To the extent we have any affection for those duds — including the scrambled eggs on the cap — it’s misleading nostalgia based on our love of “Ball Four,” not because they stood up on their own merits.
Assessment: I know some Brewers fans have a prickly relationship with the Yount-Molitor era uniforms, thinking that embracing them is to look backwards rather than forwards. But really, it’s just clothes. As long as they’re looking ahead on the important stuff — who to hire how to build their team — I think they can be excused for returning to their classic look. Not that they will. Just wishin’.
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.