And to the MLBPA, too, for signing away draftees rights in the last CBA.
There’s a good chance this is all just posturing ahead of the Friday 5 p.m. deadline, but several sources are reporting that the Marlins have ended negotiations with No. 9 overall pick Andrew Heaney out of Oklahoma State. The reasoning; Heaney appears to be holding out for the MLB produced slot value of his pick, $2.8 million, while the Marlins are offering less.
So, Heaney is left with the choice of taking less money than MLB decided he was worth where he was picked or going back to school or pitching in indy ball and risking losing a couple of million dollars if he gets hurt.
And this is where major league teams have way too much leverage right now; the Marlins can lowball Heaney knowing that they’ll be compensated with the 10th (or 11th or 12th) pick in next year’s draft if they don’t sign him.
The Marlins aren’t lacking for funds, and what they’re doing now is probably all part of the negotiating process. But if the reports are true, Heaney isn’t asking for anything excessive. This isn’t a Mark Appel situation, where the pitcher wants more than the team can offer. It’s simply a team wielding more power than it should have been given in the first place.
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.