Last year we were bombarded with stories focused on the future of Jose Reyes, but now it’s David Wright’s turn.
There’s already been plenty of speculation about a possible trade over the past few months, but Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com in Port St. Lucie this morning that as opposed to Carlos Beltran’s situation last year, Wright’s future with the club will not be tied to the team’s performance on the field.
“I think that his future is independent of club performance,” Alderson said. “There are certain decisions that one takes that are a function of where a team is at a particular time and so forth. But if there’s anybody on the team whose performance and future is independent of the club’s performance, I think it’s David’s. … I think it was presumed going into the  season that depending on what we did and how well Carlos performed and given the fact he was in the last year of his contract that he might be traded at the deadline. David’s case is little bit different. No. 1, there isn’t that presumption. No. 2, he has an option for next year. So I think his situation is somewhat different.”
Wright, 29, is owed $15 million this season while his contract includes a $16 million club option for 2013 or a $1 million buyout.
While we can disagree about whether dealing the face of the franchise is the right move, odds are the Mets would get more in return if they wait until next offseason. Wright has the ability to void the option year if he is traded this season while the new collective bargaining agreement stipulates that the acquiring team would not be able to offer him arbitration as a free agent. However, if the Mets pick up the option year and trade him next offseason, the acquiring team would be able to offer him arbitration since he would spend the full season with his new club.
Of course, the Giants acquired Beltran from the Mets for top prospect right-hander Zack Wheeler last July with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be able to offer him arbitration, so it’s hard to predict what offers could come from a team in contention. Especially if the variable of a second wild card is added this season.
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.