The National Post has a long interview with Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus. Lots of good stuff in there. Most of it about how he’s changed his attitude after his horrible 2011 season. About how he’s just going to play the game. About how he wants his dad to be less negative (Hi, Mr. Rasmus! I know you’re reading!). And how being the Jays feels a lot more comfortable than being with the Cardinals did.
Unlike past comments, however, he’s not negative about Tony La Russa or the Cardinals. He sounds like someone who has thought a lot in the offseason and realizes that you can be kind of cocky when you have an OPS+ of 132 — his 2010 numbers — but you can’t when you’ve got an OPS+ of 37 — which is what he did after the trade to Toronto.
But as for the Cardinals playoff run, he had this to say:
What were you thinking when you were watching the Cardinals during their playoff run?
I didn’t watch it.
You weren’t rooting for them?
I was. I got a lot of friends on that team, a lot of guys I love and respect. I have no hard feelings towards anybody, you know? Just didn’t watch it. I was doing something else.
You’ll be getting a ring?
That’s what I hear, I don’t know. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Did you get your postseason share?
I got a little sumpin-sumpin.
That’s all we all want, isn’t it? A little sumpin-sumpin?
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.