This is somewhat unusual: Tom Werner, the CEO of the Boston Red Sox has taken to MLB.com to respond to Dan Shaughnessy’s accusing questions to David Ortiz about PED use and various media members’ accusations against Clay Buchholz about doctoring the baseball:
I fully acknowledge the right the media has to ask difficult questions and to express controversial opinions. Freedom of the press is fundamental in our culture.
They had the right, but was it right?
We’re in a new media world, and fact-less accusations stick. Those who publicly ask questions must take responsibility for their words … In today’s media world, the question — even if it’s false, inflammatory and without real basis — can become the story.
I get this. Particularly in the case of David Ortiz (the Buchholz accusations seem to have at least some basis to them). He’s upset about it and understandably so.
At the same time: the Red Sox front office has been notorious for years for floating anonymous smack about people against whom they have a beef, including to the very Boston Globe which Werner is now criticizing. So maybe, just maybe, there is a culture there to which his organization as at least partially contributed, yes?
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.