Bill Madden speaks:
This is apparently A-Rod’s new strategy: Deflect all these allegations away from him. Didn’t his crisis management people come out the other day saying all those documents obtained out of Bosch’s clinic by the Miami New Times were bogus? His crisis managers, but not A-Rod himself.
He is innocent, A-Rod says. But instead of personally telling us that, Rodriguez proclaims it through anonymous spokespeople and lawyers and expects us to believe him.
For what it’s worth, A-Rod issued an official statement denying the allegations in the Miami New Times report. Maybe it’s a total lie, but don’t accuse him of “a conspiracy of silence” as Madden does here when he has, in fact, issued as thorough a statement as any other public figure caught up in a scandal has issued.
That aside, this insistence on direct, personal on-the-record statements is pretty rich from a guy who based his “The Yankees are going to dump A-Rod” story last week on anonymous team sources. Tell us Bill: instead of publicly saying that, the Yankees proclaim they are done with Rodriguez through anonymous spokespeople and expects us to believe them?
This also from a guy who has shown that he’s totally cool with letting speculation and whisper campaigns dictate who makes his Hall of Fame ballot.
If you’re Bill Madden I guess official, in person, on-the-record sources are only important when the story doesn’t serve your interests. If it does, hell, let ‘er rip.
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.