More on Fowler
I’ll have a full story up shortly on Orioles.com with more quotes on Dexter Fowler and what transpired, but here are a few quick hits and a recap of the timeline.
*Word leaked out Tuesday night that the Orioles were finalizing a three-year, $33 million agreement with Fowler, a report that an industry source confirmed to MLB.com.
O’s center fielder Adam Jones said Wednesday that he had talked to Fowler and he was en route to Florida to join Baltimore’s star-studded lineup. Again, people in the organization and in the clubhouse were excited about Fowler’s pending arrival with the plan for things to get underway with medical stuff on Thursday.
Obviously, that never happened. But it doesn’t look like it was bad info (widely reported and confirmed around the Internet on Tuesday), so much as it was just a bizarre last-minute turn of events. Publicly, both sides say nothing was ever official. And they’re right. It’s not the first time a last-minute switch has happened in baseball. Just another lesson that you can’t trust anything until the ink on the contract has dried.
Orioles EVP Dan Duquette held court with the media after the O’s unveiled Yovani Gallardo.
“We made a very competitive offer,” Duquette said. “The issue was the opt-out [Fowler got from Chicago]. The Orioles have made it clear that that type of deal wouldn’t really work for us. Based on that it sounds to me like he wanted to return to Chicago.”
Duquette was asked if he felt like he had a deal in place.
“We made a very competitive offer. There was not an agreement to terms because they kept insisting on an opt out,” he said. “I don’t see, club ownership, doesn’t see the value in that type of arrangement to the Orioles. If we are going to guarantee a contract, it should be a contract.”
Fowler, who confirmed he turned down a three-year, $33 million deal, has a one-year deal with the Cubs that comes with an opt out. He will make $8 million this year with a $9 million option for 2017 and a $5 million buyout if the option is declined.
Duquette said he was aware the Cubs were still in play and found out Thursday that Fowler would no longer be an option. The O’s will now look to fill the right-field hole elsewhere.
“We will keep looking to build our team,” he said. ” I’m confident we will be able to find some players that want to come and contribute to the team. We still have all the ingredients, we have good defense. We have a good bullpen. We’ve upgraded our pitching staff. We got good leadership on the field and good power.”