If you thought the Dodgers giving Brandon League a three-year, $22.5 million contract was nuts, you may want to sit down for this.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times has the full contract breakdown and the deal could be worth as much as $33.5 million. Seriously:
If League finishes 55 games in 2015, the deal will include a $7.5-million player option for a fourth season. If League finishes 55 games in 2015 and 100 games over 2014 and 15, the option will be worth $8.5 million. If he finishes 55 games in 2015 and 150 games in 2013-15, it will be worth $9 million.
League can earn $500,000 in performance-based incentives in every year of the contract: $150,000 for 55 games finished, $250,000 for 60 games finished and $100,000 for 65 games finished.
To put that in some context, nine pitchers finished 55 or more games this year and Jose Valverde led MLB with 67 games finished. So even if the Dodgers hand League the closer job and he doesn’t give it back by pitching horribly he’s no sure thing to reach 55 games finished in 2015, but … yeah, the contract is even crazier than everyone thought last week.
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.