If you are still holding out hope that the Chicago Cubs will bring back Fowler, this might be bad news. Fowler and his camp are looking for $18 million per year on a multi-year deal. That’s likely the straw that would break the camels–or Cubs–back.
Even with the Chicago Cubs addition of Jon Jay, Jed Hoyer hadn’t ruled out the chance they could still bring Dexter Fowler back. But he’s also aware that baseball is a business, and that reunion might not happen like last year. But the word out of Fowler’s camp today might be a sign the Cubs won’t be bringing him back next season.
The Cubs already have $180 million locked up in right field with Jason Heyward. So the chances of splurging for Fowler–no matter how good he was–isn’t a likely scenario. The Cubs are looking to save a little bit of money where they can, and the platoon of Jay and Albert Almora, Jr. looks to be a cost effective one. The Cubs believe in Almora, and Jay might allow him to ease into a starting role.
The idea that Fowler could make $18 million a year seems high, but in today’s game, it’s not unreasonable. Players who have accomplished less have been paid more, and Fowler took less money last year in a gamble on himself. It paid off, and he’s ready for his payday.
I can do what you can do
Whether or not Fowler looked at the money Heyward made and felt this was possible is unknown. It was a rough year for Heyward, but many including myself believe he’ll bounce back at the plate. But Fowler has been a consistent leadoff man for the past two seasons, and that consistency is going to get him paid handsomely.
Before the Jay signing, I felt the Cubs were a 70% chance to bring Fowler back. Even that signing didn’t sway me much, as I still believe Theo Epstein may have something in the works that might thin the outfield. But for $18 mil for multiple years? I’d be upset with Epstein at that point–and I do love Fowler.
I feel like it’s time to say my “official” goodbye to Fowler. He deserves his chance to get paid this coming season. He was instrumental in what the Cubs accomplished over the past two years. And he will always be remembered for what he did for the Cubs this year. If it is the end, we wish Dex the best–just don’t sign with St. Louis.