This is . . . odd. The Miami Herald is reporting that Jose Fernandez’s attorney released a statement on Friday following Fernandez’s Tommy John surgery in which he claimed that a previous injury, not detected by the Marlins, led to Fernandez’s torn UCL and thus his surgery:
Jose Fernandez’s arm injury was precipitated by a chain reaction of events that began when a line drive struck him in the thigh in his next-to-last game, according to the pitcher’s friend and attorney.
That “prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern,” culminating in a “traumatic” arm injury when Fernandez pitched next on May 9 in San Diego, said his Tampa-based attorney, Ralph Fernandez, in a statement that was released Friday after the pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles.
Clark Spencer of the Herald got quotes from Mike Redmond and other Marlins saying that no one noticed anything wrong with Fernandez’s mechanics and that Fernandez did not complain of any other injuries or discomfort. And that, if he had those things, he should have reported it to someone and the team would have dealt with it. Which, to me anyway, sounds pretty darn reasonable.
But put that aside for a second: why on Earth is a player having his lawyer issue statements like this? Statements containing phrasing that sounds like the sort of language lawyers put in complaints and things. Not that Fernandez is going to sue or anything — some lawyers can’t help themselves and always speak as if they’re drafting complaints — but it’s just really unusual to see this kind of stuff.
The lawyer says he released the statement “in order to reduce speculation.” In doing so, I believe he has achieved the exact opposite result.
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.