I’d like to submit a new entry to the pantheon of sports voodoo alongside the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Madden curse: The Jerod Morris blogger hex.
Two weeks after setting off the latest mainstream-versus-blogger firestorm by freaking out over “some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement” Raul Ibanez has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Coincidence? Of course. But still.
Ibanez, who had avoided the DL since 2004, was just 5-for-27 (.185)
with 11 strikeouts since calling one of Morris’ blog entries about him
“pathetic and disgusting” and struggled to run out ground balls
recently, so the Phillies decided to shut him down for at least a
John Mayberry Jr. has been called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez
after getting into three games during his first taste of the majors
last month. The 6-foot-6 son of the former two-time All-Star with the
same name, Mayberry has big-time power but has hit just .261 with a
.323 on-base percentage and 141/51 K/BB ratio in 166 games at Triple-A.
As for Ibanez, his career-best season will be put on hold as he
heads to the DL ranked second in the league in homers (22), runs (51),
RBIs (59), slugging percentage (.656), and OPS (1.027). The good news
is that he’ll have plenty of time to peruse the pathetic, disgusting
blogosphere, and I’d suggest grabbing a laptop and finding a basement
somewhere so he can maybe start a blogging hex of his own.
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.