Don Cooper, Ozzie Guillen

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper angrily ends interview over Dayan Viciedo

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Ozzie Guillen isn’t the only member of the White Sox’s coaching staff on edge these days, as pitching coach Don Cooper angrily hung up during a radio interview this morning when he was asked why the team hasn’t called up Dayan Viciedo from Triple-A.

Cooper is paid to do the weekly phone interview, but the Chicago Tribune describes how things got ugly:

I have no clue about that. I’m a coach,” Cooper fumed during his session on “The Mully & Hanley Show” on WSCR-AM 670. “Do I feel like something [needs to be done]? Yeah, we have to score some runs. That’s what’s got to be done. And if we do, we have a chance to win. And if we don’t, we won’t.

Nice try, asking me to bring up [bleeping] Viciedo. I not in charge of making moves, I’m in charge of coaching. When host Brian Hanley told Cooper that he wasn’t trying to put him on the spot, Cooper hung up.

Cooper’s tantrum follows Guillen’s postgame freakout last night and speculation that the White Sox may try to put Adam Dunn on the disabled list with a questionable knee injury in order to get him out of the lineup and call up Viciedo.

Chicago is in third place at 47-51 and Minnesota is in fourth place at 46-51, yet the White Sox appear to be coming apart at the seams and the Twins are doing everything they can not to start printing playoff tickets.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.