Josh Collmenter struggled this spring and has coughed up 11 runs in seven innings through two starts, leading to speculation that he might not be long for the Diamondbacks’ rotation despite a very solid rookie season that saw him throw 154 innings with a 3.38 ERA.
Kirk Gibson confirmed to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Collmenter will make his next scheduled start Thursday, but declined to say that the right-hander’s rotation spot was safe beyond that.
Collmenter told Gilbert that he’s struggling mentally as much as physically by “trying to think of too many things rather than just throwing the ball” and “it becomes clogged up with thoughts.”
Collmenter rarely tops 90 miles per hour with his fastball, has an odd over-the-top delivery, and was never considered a top prospect in the minors, all of which played a role in his not reaching the majors until age 25 and may also lead to him having a shorter leash now that he’s there. Toss in the fact that the Diamondbacks have several very promising young pitching prospects close to being MLB-ready and he might be pitching for his job Thursday versus Atlanta.
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.