Just in case there was any doubt that Zack Greinke had run out of patience with losing, Royals general manager Dayton Moore told reporters yesterday that the club tried to engage him in talks for a long-term contract extension, but their efforts were rebuffed (via Matthew Leach and Dick Kaegel of MLB.com):
“We would love to be sitting here discussing a long-term contract with Zack Greinke,” Moore said. “You want to hold on to your best players forever. That’s a formula for winning championships, as well. But there has to be a willing partner to go forward with that. We actually went down that trail and discussed that trail with Zack long-term, and it was apparent that that wasn’t something that he wanted to do.”
Greinke actually signed a four-year, $38 million extension with the Royals in January of last year. It was a huge commitment on the part of the Royals at the time — remember, Greinke was a little over two years removed from missing most of the 2006 season due to an anxiety condition — but keep in mind that without that extension, he would have been a free agent this winter. Could you imagine what kind of salary he would have commanded in this environment?
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.