Last season the Reds did long term deals for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Now they’re thinking about locking up some pitching: they want to do long-term deals for Homer Bailey and Mat Latos, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Bailey and Latos look to be long-term parts of the Reds rotation, with each coming off fine years. Bailey’s season was something of a revelation. After a lot of early hype and then five years of bouncing back and forth between the minors and the bigs, Bailey finally put together a complete season, starting 33 games for Cincinnati while going 13-10 in 208 innings with a 3.68 ERA.
Latos also started 33 games in his first season in Cincinnati. While his ERA was about the same as it was the year before, the move from he majors’ most pitcher friendly park in San Diego to one of the most hitter friendly environments around in Great American Ballpark evinces some significant improvement.
Both Bailey and Latos are first-time arbitration eligible players so they won’t be bank-breaking deal, but they should be bigger than the $27 million deal that teammate Johnny Cueto received when he was in their position.
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.