We mentioned this last week, but last night the inaugural Wilson Defensive Awards were announced on MLB Network. As we said previously: sponsored awards like this are kind of “whatever,” but in a world where people still take the Gold Glove awards seriously, I’m cool with any viable competitor.
As you’ll recall, there were awards for the best overall defensive team, the best defender in each league, as well as the best defensive player per team.
The results, with the up-front head-smacking due to the fact that the best overall defensive team had its season end because they totally stunk up the NL Wild Card game with poor defense:
BEST OVERALL TEAM – Atlanta Braves
BEST OVERALL IN NL – Michael Bourn
BEST OVERALL IN AL – Mike Trout
TEAM BY TEAM:
Yankees – Robinson Cano
Orioles – JJ Hardy
Red Sox – Dustin Pedroia
Blue Jays – Brett Lawrie
Rays – Jose Molina
Twins – Denard Span
Tigers – Austin Jackson
Royals – Lorenzo Cain
White Sox – Alexei Ramirez
Indians – Jason Kipnis
Mariners – Brendan Ryan
Rangers – Adrian Beltre
Angels – Mike Trout
A’s – Josh Reddick
Phillies – Carlos Ruiz
Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton
Nationals – Adam LaRoche
Braves – Michael Bourn
Mets – David Wright
Cardinals – Yadier Molina
Pirates – Andrew McCutchen
Cubs – Darwin Barney
Astros – Justin Maxwell
Brewers – Carlos Gomez
Reds – Brandon Phillips
Giants – Brandon Crawford
Dodgers – Matt Kemp
Diamondbacks – Aaron Hill
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
Padres – Chase Headley
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.