UPDATE: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays are pursuing Cordero. Those are likely our four finalists.
6:40 PM ET: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that free agent Francisco Cordero is down to four teams and expects to make a decision by the end of the week.
Gonzalez confirms that the Angels are one of the clubs and suspects that the Phillies and Orioles are also involved. The Rays haven’t entered the bidding and don’t figure to after spending $7.25 million on Carlos Pena.
If the Angels sign Cordero, he’d replace Jordan Walden as the team’s closer. Walden was handed a spot on the AL All-Star team as a rookie, but he ended up blowing 10 save chances on the season. The Orioles would also use Cordero as a closer, while the Phillies would want him as a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.
Cordero, 36, had a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves in 43 chances for the Reds last season. Cincinnati had some interest in re-signing him, but that was before it upgraded to Ryan Madson.
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.