Gabe Gross didn’t have the most memorable major league career — I think I wrote his name as “Greg Gross” approximately 75% of the time I had occasion to refer to him — but he managed to hang around for seven years in the majors. And as I mentioned in my review for “Time in the Minors” yesterday, I have a new reverence and respect for anyone who even makes the majors, even if they never excel.
Gross at his best had some moderately useful on-base skills, but never so good that it justified a full-time job. His best season came as a platoon guy with the Brewers in 2006 when he hit .274/.382/.476 in 252 plate appearances. He played for the Rays in the 2008 World Series too, which is more than most guys get to do.
He got a call from the Marlins two weeks ago. They were interested in signing him to a minor league deal. He agreed to do it on a Sunday, but the Marlins couldn’t get anyone to do his physical that day. Gross slept on it and changed his mind the next day, opting to retire.
If a good night’s sleep is the deal breaker, yeah, I suppose that means you’re ready to move on to new pursuits in life. Happy trails, Gabe.
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.