The total extent of Lance Berkman’s knee injury was unclear until he underwent surgery this morning and now the verdict is in, as the Cardinals announced that he’ll miss “approximately 8-10 weeks.”
According to the team the surgery repaired Berkman’s torn meniscus, but there was no mention of his ACL after the veteran switch-hitter and the Cardinals disagreed about whether or not it was torn as well.
All in all the result qualifies as positive news because 8-10 weeks on the sidelines means Berkman could potentially be back in the lineup around mid-August. That’s a best-case scenario, of course, and at age 36 it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if any setbacks put his status for the entire season in question. A torn ACL, however, would have ended his season and possibly his career.
Matt Adams will get an extended opportunity at first base in Berkman’s absence and the 23-year-old prospect has the potential to make an impact after consistently hitting for big-time power in the minors. Prior to being called up last week Adams played a total of 152 games between Double-A and Triple-A since the beginning of last season, hitting .310 with 41 homers and 33 doubles. He doesn’t walk much, but the guy can mash.
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.