This is basically the blog post I was born to write.
Major League Baseball is partnering with the dating website Match.com for fan pages that “allow the website’s users to connect with singles who are fans of particular clubs.”
In other words, I could go on Match.com and find all the female Twins fans and then we could go on a date to Target Field and be really sad about how horrible our team is. I specialize in sad dates anyway, so I might actually give it a try.
Here’s a quote from MLB Advanced Media executive vice president of revenue Noah Garden:
The Match.com conversation is one we’ve had on and off over the years to see if there’s something we could do together. The idea is put like people together with similar interest and passion. There’s still always room for more butts in the seats.
So it’s mostly another way for MLB to sell people tickets online, but still.
I’m sure plenty of people would want to date someone with the same favorite team, but I’ll bet even more people would want to date someone who doesn’t like their favorite team’s rival. So a way for, say, a Red Sox fan to rule out Yankees fans or a Brewers fan to rule out people who don’t drink paint thinner in parking lots before games might be an even better idea.
(Just kidding. I once dated a Brewers fan and she drank relatively little paint thinner on a day-to-day basis.)
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.