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Dexter Fowler Signs With Cardinals

Dexter Fowler Signs With Cardinals AshMarshall via


Cardinals add center fielder Dexter Fowler

Chicago Cubs fans took to Twitter today to share their thoughts and send out heartfelt thank yous to All-Star center fielder Dexter Fowler, who agreed to a five-year contract worth 82.5 million dollars with the St. Louis Cardinals. Fowler was an essential piece of the Cubs championship team serving as the catalyst and one of the leaders of this extremely young and talented team. Fowler, a free agent at season’s end, turned down a 17.2 million dollar qualifying offer from the Cubs in November.

The Cubs and Fowler couldn’t reach an agreement in 2015 either, and the center fielder opted for free agency. The Baltimore Orioles were in hot pursuit of Fowler and were reportedly in negotiations on a three-year contract when Fowler had a change of heart. He would finish what he started and resign with the Cubs on a one year deal. The rest, as they say is history. Fowler helped lead the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series championship since 1908. When Fowler rejected the qualifying offer, both sides left the door open to a reunion. It became apparent during free agency that Fowler was willing to let the process play out. The Cubs then signed veteran outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year, 8 million dollar deal. Many took this to mean that the Cubs and Fowler were much further apart in negotiations than previously thought.

Jay spent last season with the San Diego Padres, appearing in 90 games. Over his 7 years of Major League service, he is a career .287 hitter. Fowler over his 9 years of service is a career .268 hitter with an on base percentage of .366. Offensively, Fowler wins the head to head matchup, but many believe Jay’s acquisition was more based on adding depth to an already talented but young outfield.

The St. Louis Cardinals play the Cubs enough to know exactly what they are getting with Fowler; a leadoff hitter with pop, patience at the plate, speed on the base-paths and an on base percentage that hovers near forty percent. When these two heated rivals face each other this year, there will be plenty of tension and hostility as there is in any rivalry game, but for a brief moment, as Dexter Fowler’s name is announced over the Wrigley Field sound system, there will be more cheers than jeers. That’s the measure of a ballplayer who left his mark on a franchise.