Birdland received more good news as reports hit the airwaves that the Orioles and OF Dexter Fowler agreed to three-year deal that is worth over $30 million. Fowler was everyone’s radar as a must sign for the Orioles and Dan Duquette once again delivered on his message that the Orioles front office is committed to winning this season.
The Orioles will have to give up a draft pick to the Cubs once the deal finalized, pending a physical. Fowler denied the Cub’s 15.8 million qualifying offer in November, which made him a free agent. Fowler was traded to the Cubs during the 2015 off-season by the Colorado Rockies, who he spent his first 6 season with. This will be Fowler’s third team in three seasons.
Fowler will turn the ripe age of 30 in March, which we all know is prime baseball age.
Signing Fowler was important for the Orioles with the lack of support in the outfield. Fowler will join Adam Jones as the only two with 100+ starts in the outfield. Fowler is considered an “average” outfielder but he started 149 games in the outfield for the NL Central Champs.
Aside from playing in the outfield, Fowler biggest contribution could come from base running. Base running has been a weakness for the best hitting team in the majors, especially to set up runners in scoring position. In 2015, Manny Machado was the only player to have double-digit stolen bases, leading the team with 20; for Fowler, 20 was his second highest total. All but one season in his career, Fowler has posted double-digit stolen bases, topping out at 27 in 2009.
In 2010 Fowler led the league in triples with 14, which was 2/3 of the Orioles total in 2010. Fowler has 65 career triples, which is speed that the O’s hasn’t seen in a long time.
Fowler isn’t the monster free agent signing but for the Orioles this is a great pickup. It adds more depth to a revamped lineup and eliminates one of the team’s needs.