FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals will sign Dexter Fowler to a five-year deal worth at least $80 million, pending a physical.
Fowler has been confirmed to be in St. Louis to take a pre-signing physical. The center fielder turned down a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs and was believed to be seeking a four-year deal for about $18 million per year. It appears the Cardinals trumped the field by offering a fifth year and at least $16 million annually. One year after the Cubs poached Jason Heyward and John Lackey from the Cardinals, they get a measure of revenge by prying Fowler away from the World Series champs. Fowler gives the Cardinals a badly-needed upgrade in center field and should find a home near the top of the lineup. He owns a .366 career on-base percentage. Randal Grichuk will move from center to left field with Matt Holliday out of the picture.
According to beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals made an "over-the-top offer" to be sure they landed free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler.
Multiple reports state Fowler is on his way to St. Louis for a pre-signing physical. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirms that the deal is done and that it's expected to be big, perhaps in the $80-90 million range. It's safe to say he got the $18 million AAV (average annual value) he was seeking. Fowler is tied to draft pick compensation after rejecting a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs. He registered a solid .276/.393/.447 slash-line with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games this past season.
Rangers acquired LHP Brady Feigl in the Luke Jackson trade with the Braves.
The left-hander recently recovered from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old has thrown only 2/3 inning above Single-A ball. He went undrafted after playing college baseball but signed with the Braves and pitched well in the lowest levels of the minor leagues before the elbow injury. Despite his inexperience he has a chance to pitch in the majors as a left-handed specialist but is unlikely to have any fantasy value.
Rangers acquired RHP Tyrell Jenkins and LHP Brady Feigl from the Braves for RHP Luke Jackson.
This trade amounts to both clubs swapping 2010 supplemental first-round draft picks who failed to live up to expectations. Jenkins was drafted by the Cardinals and briefly garnered some buzz on top prospect lists but was ultimately unable to generate enough strikeouts to justify the hype. He was traded to the Braves prior to the 2015 season. He pitched 52 innings this year in his rookie campaign but walked more batters than he whiffed, leading to a poor 5.88 ERA. He is unlikely to ever be worthy of fantasy rosters.
Braves acquired RHP Luke Jackson from the Rangers for RHP Tyrell Jenkins and LHP Brady Feigl.
Jackson has thrown 18 major-league innings over the past two seasons with an 8.50 ERA. The 25-year-old reliever throws hard and racked up lots of strikeouts in the minor leagues but struggled with his control. The Braves are likely to use him as a middle reliever if he makes the team at all. His high strikeout rate gives him the potential to move into a higher leverage role if he can limit the walks.
Keith Law of ESPN reports that the Braves have traded right-hander Tyrell Jenkins to the Rangers.
Per multiple reports, left-hander Brady Feigl will also go to the Rangers while hard-throwing right-hander Luke Jackson is headed to the Braves. There has yet to be an official announcement. Jenkins, 24, was a first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2010 and garnered some attention as a top 100 prospect for a couple of years before being traded to the Braves prior to the 2015 season. He pitched 52 innings for the Braves this year with a 5.88 ERA. He walked 33 batters and fanned only 26. The Rangers will see if there's something to salvage here.
According to Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports, free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler is scheduled to take a physical in St. Louis on Friday.
Cusumano says that he confirmed the information with the team. This would seem to indicate that the Cardinals have reached an agreement with Fowler and that the physical would be the formality to making things official. No word yet on the terms involved, but Fowler's reps were said to be looking for $18 million annually in a multi-year pact. The 30-year-old is coming off a strong season for the World Series champion Cubs where he batted .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games. While the defense isn't great in center field, it would fit into the team's goals of adding some speed and athleticism this winter.
Koji Uehara has reached a deal to join the Cubs, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
We're still awaiting confirmation regarding the particulars, but a report out of Japan pegs it as a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $4.5 million. This represents a bit of a bargain for the veteran set-up man as long as he stays on the mound. He figures to be the eighth-inning bridge to new Cubs closer Wade Davis. Uehara has a career 2.53 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 437 2/3 innings. His ERA bumped up to 3.45 this season despite an elite 12.06 punchouts per nine innings. He is a right-handed pitcher, but has actually fared better versus left-handed batters.