UPDATE: Want more conflicting information on Hiroki Kuroda? Sure you do.
According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, Kuroda has indicated to the Dodgers that he is open to deals with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.
While Jon Heyman of SI.com mentioned those same three teams as finalists earlier in the day, a friend of Kuroda told him that he would be surprised if he accepted a trade out of Los Angeles.
3:05 PM: We still don’t know if Hiroki Kuroda has any desire to leave Los Angeles, but teams are still jockeying for position to acquire him.
According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers are the “final three” teams in the mix to acquire Kuroda in advance of tomorrow’s trade deadline.
Not surprisingly, we’ve heard conflicting information on the matter today. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Yankees have taken the lead over the Red Sox in talks while his colleague Buster Olney says the two clubs have not spoken about Kuroda recently.
Kuroda owns a 6-13 record this season, but it distracts from a quality 3.11 ERA and 103/36 K/BB ratio over 133 innings.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported earlier this week that the 36-year-old right-hander could carry draft pick compensation as a Type B free agent this winter. Kuroda is still owed $6.7 million on his contract, most of it in the form of a signing bonus, so this remaining financial obligation could have a major impact on what the Dodgers receive in return.
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.