One of the low key free agents of this offseason is Dexter Fowler, although sooner or later, there’s going to be a lot of public interest unless he signs something soon. For now, it seems like the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics are interested, but the Chicago White Sox could also become an option at some point.
Fowler, almost 30, had an OK season for the Chicago Cubs, but they don’t seem to be too eager in him bringing him back, and that door has probably been closed once they signed Jason Heyward. Fowler, a centerfielder, hit .250 last season with a career high 17 home runs although his slugging and OPS continued to slip. He did play more games than ever before, having 690 at bats, 127 more than his previous high, achieved with the Colorado Rockies in 2011.
Fowler is a leadoff and switch hitter, which most makes sense on the Angels who need one. Landing there means Fowler will move to left field because Mike Trout is there, which is something he can probably handle, even though he’s been strictly a CF his entire career. But the Fowler situation might not be resolved until Yoenis Cespedes signs with someone. Just like the wait for Chris Davis halted the market, the same can be said for the Cespedes waiting game.
The Athletics need someone to give them some power and speed (20 stolen bases last season) and usually come out of nowhere with their signings. But a team that’s a bit more aggressive in their search for an outfielder are the Chicago White Sox, whose spending limitations (unless they pull off some sort of trade) could make them go for Fowler, who did make $9.5 million last season and will probably be looking for $12-13 million a year (more if he can get it) but that’s nowhere close what Justin Upton got from the Detroit Tigers, or what Cespedes expects to get from the team that signs him.
There might be more teams out there monitoring the Fowler situation. After all, there are a number of teams with a need for some hitting and outfield quality, and Fowler is a rank below Upton and Cespedes in terms of payment demands. However, as we mentioned before, with Fowler not in a rush and teams still not entering something of a panic mode regarding open slots, it could be a little longer before he signs with a team.