Roy Halladay was victorious in his return to Toronto this afternoon, tossing a complete game (what else?) as part of a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.
Halladay threw 110 pitches en route to his major-league leading sixth complete game of the season. He scattered eight hits while striking out eight and walking just one. The Phillies’ ace is now tied Jair Jurrjens for the National League-lead with 11 wins and has taken over the major-league lead with 131 strikeouts over 136 1/3 innings.
The Phillies actually trailed in this game entering the top of the seventh inning, but Chase Utley put them in front with a two-run homer off left-hander Luis Perez. Halladay was given an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single by Shane Victorino.
Halladay had to endure a long wait before pitching in the bottom of the ninth because reliever Jon Rauch got into it with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez following Victorino’s single. The 6-foot-10 right-hander had to be restrained by a few members of the Jays’ staff, including his manager John Farrell, who actually ripped his jersey off. Watch in glorious GIF form here. Farrell was eventually tossed himself for continuing the argument over the strike zone.
Jose Bautista hit a long solo home run to center field off Halladay in the fourth inning in a losing cause. He now has the MLB-lead with 26 home runs.
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.