Sure, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are heading to Australia next week for a two-game series, but more importantly Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter is hoping to get a date while he’s there.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports writes that Collmenter has agreed to a dating game-style contest sponsored by the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. Women have been applying to the newspaper and a narrowed-down list will be sent to Diamondbacks teammates J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, and Patrick Corbin to make the final selection.
And then Collmenter will go on a blind date.
Here’s how Collmenter described himself to potential suitors:
Josh likes long walks on Bondi Beach, reading poetry on a bear rug in front of the fireplace and tall, athletic women whose offspring will likely result in a college scholarship.
As someone who has, on more than one occasion, gone on dates following a dating game-style radio show live at the Minnesota state fair I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea that can’t possibly go wrong. And it’ll be a helluva meet-cute story someday.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”