It’s one thing for a manager to be peeved that his young player decided not to report early to camp. It’s another thing when he starts airing out that grievance to the media.
Mets manager Terry Collins did just that on Wednesday. According to MLB.com, Collins was quite disappointed that shortstop Ruben Tejada is deciding to wait until Saturday’s reporting deadline to show up. He says he “pretty much suggested” during the offseason that Tejada should arrive early to camp, but “probably should have spelled it out.”
His other quotes:
I know Ruben will come in in great shape. I know he’ll be ready to go. I just wish he was here.
A lot of it’s just selfishness on my part. I take great pride in the game itself and respecting the game itself. I wish everybody had the same respect and wanted to get started as soon as possible.
And that’s just not right. MLB and the MLBPA negotiated reporting deadlines for a reason, and no player should be pressured to show up early. Besides six weeks is more than enough time for a position player to get ready for the season. Collins deserves a little fine for letting everyone know the league’s own reporting deadlines aren’t good enough for him.
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.