UPDATE: Oy, it’s now been confirmed that Burnett will miss 8-10 weeks. Wowzers.
8:50 AM: The Pirates have yet to say how much time A.J. Burnett will miss in the wake of surgery-requiring broken orbital bone, but a couple of people with some level of insight into the matter have weighed in. Of course they don’t agree.
An eye specialist told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Burnett would probably miss “two to four weeks.” Meanwhile, Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record — who broke his own orbital bone and had similar surgery a couple of years ago — said that it could be 6-8 weeks until he’s ready to go. Based on past tweets, I understand that Klapisch is quite physically active and plays baseball himself and stuff, so his opinion is pretty informed from at least a practical standpoint.
Who knows? I saw some people on Twitter saying “it’s just his eye, how can it affect his pitching all that much.” Which, whatever. Pitching motions are violent and I can’t imagine it feels good to throw a baseball 90+ miles per hour when your face bones are being held together with zip ties.
Whatever the case, unusual injuries like this to non-baseball-handling or running parts tend to be the most unpredictable, so I’d believe anything about A.J.’s recovery schedule at this point.
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.