A source close to the reliever told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that Francisco Rodriguez is going to be pretty flexible about a deal should the team attempt to move him this summer.
According to the source, Rodriguez will consider any deal presented to him and would discuss getting rid of his vesting option for 2012 in return for a multiyear extension.
It’s K-Rod’s vesting option that has had the Mets jumpy for over a year now. Rodriguez will earn $17.5 million next season if he finishes 55 games this year. Even if he doesn’t, he gets a $3.5 million buyout.
Rodriguez has finished 18 of the Mets’ 47 games so far, putting him on pace for 62 games finished over the course of the season.
K-Rod’s deal allows him to block trades to 10 teams. There’s nothing in Martino’s article that says he’s looking to get out of New York as soon as possible, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he welcomes a move in July.
It will be interesting to see if there’s a market for him. If the Mets are willing to eat the $3.5 million, perhaps some team would take him on for the rest of this year and pay him $14 million in 2012. It’s more than he’d command on the open market, but Rodriguez is still doing a terrific job in the closer’s role (he’s 15-for-16 saving games this year) and he shouldn’t cost much at all in terms of talent.
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.