CC Sabathia still has around three weeks to decide whether to opt out of his contract with the Yankees, but from what his agent Brian Peters told Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider only) this morning, it sure sounds like he has already made up his mind.
“CC has been clear about how he feels about New York and the Yankees,” Peters said on Saturday morning, “and we will exhaust all of our efforts to reach a new agreement (with the Yankees).”
Asked if the negotiations had started, Peters said, “As of today, I’ve got nothing new to report.”
Sabathia, who signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees in December of 2008, is currently owed $23 million over each of the next four years. However, with C.J. Wilson as the best starting pitcher on the market this winter, Sabathia could benefit greatly by opting out and negotiating a new deal.
The Yankees will do everything in their power to keep the big southpaw, but Olney suspects that they could face some competition from the Rangers, Cubs and Angels. Even if Sabathia’s intention is to stay with the Yankees, as most believe it is, it’s simply the right business move to opt out and test the market.
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.