The Braves called up second baseman Tommy La Stella on May 28. He’s played in 16 games and has had 56 at bats. He has had 23 hits and has walked seven times. The Braves started the season with Dan Uggla. He’s played in 40 games and has had 121 at bats. He has 20 hits and nine walks.
That sound you hear is someone getting the DFA papers for Uggla ready. They may not be used today and may not be used tomorrow, but they’re gonna be in that folder Frank Wren’s assistant keeps on his or her desk so they’re ready at a moment’s notice.
La Stella was fantastic in Sunday’s 6-3 Braves victory over the Angels, going 3 for 3 with a double, a walk and a pair of RBI, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances. His line for the season so far is .411/.476/.446. It’d be folly to think that he’s not going to start for the rest of the season. I mean, even if he falls off a cliff — and yes, regression is due — the bottom of that chasm isn’t likely to be all that worse than what Uggla is doing, right?
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.