No, that’s not what you think it means. It refers to “Deal With It,” and they were the letters written on a white board inside the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse after some Navy Seals visited the team yesterday. The message: when you have a problem, get past it, dude. Navy Seals do that, and the Dbacks should do it too. (UPDATE: I see the “Deal With It” thing has spread wider than I realized).
Yeah, I think this is a different kind of training camp than the Dbacks are used to having.
The visit by the Navy Seals wasn’t set up by Kirk Gibson, but he talked about it a few minutes ago when he took media questions. He was pleased with the visit and he’s definitely got that message at the top of his priority list as his young team gets into real baseball games starting tomorrow. “You know what Navy Seals do,” Gibson said. “We’re not asking them to go that far. But we want to change our mentality.”
Gibson is pleased with the effort he’s seen, but he’s more interested in making sure that the lessons from the past week translate into action in the game. You get the sense that he has his concerns. “Just do it, just like you did out on the practice field,” Gibson said, explaining what the main message is to his team. His tone is reminiscent of, say, a high school coach: he’s confident in his players, but he’s well aware that there are going to be some bumps ahead.
When you think of people who might be adept at dealing with the fragile psyches of young players, you don’t necessarily think of Kirk Gibson. That may be an assumption based on old information, of course, as most of us think of the fiery player of 20 or 30 years ago, not the current man, about whom we know relatively little.
But the fragile psyches of a young team are his primary responsibility now. I think it will be fascinating to see how he deals with them this season.
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.