When the Angels fired longtime scouting director Eddie Bane back in October the reason given was an unhappiness with the team’s recent drafts.
That seemed somewhat difficult to believe given that, among other solid prospects, stud outfielder Mike Trout was a product of the 2009 draft after 24 other teams passed on him.
And sure enough Bane, who now works for the Tigers, told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he believes the actual reason behind his firing was a poor relationship with general manager Tony Reagins:
Tony and I don’t like each other. I don’t think that’s a reason to get fired. Personality clashes are never any fun. I don’t blame him for thinking I’m not the greatest guy in the world. He’s not a guy I would want to hang out with. I’m sure he feels the same way about me. He told me, “I’m not happy with the last three drafts.” That’s ludicrous.
In addition to Trout “the last three drafts” also produced Tyler Chatwood, who’s in the Angels’ rotation, Garrett Richards, who was just called up to join the Angels’ rotation, and Tyler Skaggs, who was part of the package that went to Arizona for Dan Haren.
In other words, Bane (or Reagins) must have been extremely tough to get along with, because he was a pretty solid scouting director.
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.