The St. Louis Cardinals didn't make "splashing news" during the recent 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, which closed Thursday. However, Thursday evening, news was announced that indeed the Cardinals were going to sign former Chicago Cubs centerfielder Dexter Fowler. He left his hometown Atlanta to travel to St. Louis to have his physical today; then, the deal will be inked by both parties.
Dexter Fowler, centerfielder for the Cubs and on the 2016 World Series Champions team was offered the QO and declined putting him on the 2017 list of free agents.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
As of last night contract details had not been revealed. In my own baseball opinion, I expect Fowler's contract will be in the ballpark of $80 MM(+)/5 Yr range. The 30 year old will now be wearing the "Birds on the Bat" uniform. Two of his former teammates, Jason Heyward and John Lackey, did the switch in 2015, Cardinals to Cubs. Now, Fowler will head south to the city along the Mighty Mississippi; and, closer to his home in Atlanta.
As the Cardinals gained two first round picks in 2015 with the Cubs signing both Heyward and Lackey, they will lose one by signing Fowler. For me, that's okay.
Some in Cardinals Nation, even though the organization "opened up their checkbook" to get the deal done, will still be disgruntled with the signing. Those declared "fans" will find fault no matter the situation. For the most part, I believe the majority of our fan base will be pleased and excited to see Fowler in centerfield. Throughout this off-season into the winter meetings, Fowler has been a name linked with the Cardinals. I'm not surprised GM John Mozeliak was able to get the deal done. Now, to put it in stone today. I see no reason for Fowler not to pass his physical.
I'm presuming the official news will be announced by the Cardinals late this morning or early this afternoon.
FOWLER TO FACE HIS FORMER TEAM
Facing his old team won't take long. 2017 Opening Day Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday Night Baseball, April 2. He will make his debut as a Cardinals and more than likely have to face Cubs starter Jon Lester. In his seven year major league history, prior to the Cubs, with the Colorado Rockies (6) and Houston Astros (1), he never faced Lester. He, at that time in his career, pitched for the Boston Red Sox. Lester pitching against the Cardinals has had his highs and lows. The Cardinals have been able to rattle him; so, will Fowler join in that venture? Paper numbers from last season, Fowler hit .405 BA at Busch Stadium. Of course, that was against his soon to be new team's pitchers. The last he faced the Cubs pitching was in 2013 while with the Rockies. He had 18 at-bats with four hits for 1 HR/1 2-B/1-3B/4 RBI for a .556 SLG/.842 OPS. Will be interesting to see what transpires in 2017.
"Fowler, who turns 31 in March, had a .393 on-base percentage for the Cubs in 2016, hitting 13 homers and stealing 13 bases in 125 games and earning his first All-Star Game selection. He excelled in the National League Championship Series, batting .333 and scoring six runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He homered twice in the World Series, including a leadoff blast in the Cubs’ Game 7 victory." (USA Today)
May I be one of the first to say ~ Welcome aboard, Dexter Fowler. Happy you will be a Cardinals.