Now that the Orioles are headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 1997 fans are coming out of the woodwork and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about some celebrities making their Orioles fandom known.
My favorite was this little tidbit about lifelong Orioles fan Joan Jett:
Jett sent a letter this week to the Orioles that was posted on the bulletin board in the home clubhouse. She wrote about how her dad took her to Memorial Stadium on Aug. 13, 1969, which was the date of Jim Palmer’s no-hitter against the Oakland A’s. She wrote that she’s been taking her iPad on stage and hiding it next to her amp so she can check the Orioles’ scores this year.
For some reason picturing Jett on stage checking to see how Luis Ayala is doing cracks me up, although Connolly also noted that “truthfully most of these Orioles weren’t born when Jett was on top of the music world, but surely the support was much appreciated.”
Also, if you want a peak behind the scenes of HardballTalk … we decided Joan Jett is pretty great.
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.