Troubling news Wednesday out of Cardinals camp.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Peter Bourjos has been held out of Grapefruit League action since Sunday because of what’s being called a “tight leg.” Bourjos has already been ruled out for Thursday’s Grapefruit League tilt with the Twins and it’s not clear when he might be cleared to return.
Bourjos dealt with chronic hamstring issues at the end of his tenure with the Angels. And his game, which is very defense and speed oriented, relies heavily on his legs being in good health. So this situation is more worrisome than a typical complaint of early-spring soreness.
The Cardinals acquired Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk this winter from the Angels for third baseman David Freese and right-hander Fernando Salas. Bourjos is expected to serve as the primary center fielder this year in St. Louis. Jon Jay, a far weaker defender, is the Cards’ current backup option.
Top prospect Oscar Taveras is still working to return to full strength from last year’s ankle surgery.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.