I wouldn’t say it unless it was true.
You might remember that Jose Reyes was called out while trying for a triple last Wednesday night against the Nationals. It was one of the worst calls in recent memory, as Reyes never took his hand off the third base bag, but Tom Van Riper of Forbes saw the play as an opportunity to chuck spitballs at the shortstops’s entire major league career.
The triple/ non-triple against the Nationals had all the elements of Reyes’ eight-year career: strong bat smoking a ball up the gap, explosive speed getting him to third, only to wind up back in the dugout thanks to a lack of brains. The sad part was how predictable the play was. Scintillating as he is to watch when he’s going well, Reyes has never really learned how to play the game.
Yes, let’s blame Reyes for Marvin Hudson’s complete and total ineptitude. And what if Reyes was called safe there? I guess Van Riper would have said he was just lucky.
Unfortunately Van Riper’s commentary is par for the course among those who blame Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran for the team’s failings since the 2006 NLCS, despite each of them being among the best position players in the history of the entire franchise. Folks like Van Riper shouldn’t be ignored, but highlighted for their complete lack of understanding.
(Hat-tip to friend of the blog Ted Berg of Tedquarters for bringing this to my attention)
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.