Despite reports earlier in the week that he had signed with the Baltimore Orioles on a three-year deal, Dexter Fowler has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. The move comes after the team traded Chris Coghlan to the Athletics for relief pitcher Aaron Brooks.
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The addition of Fowler allows the team to move outfielder Jason Heyward back to right field. Of course, this means Jorge Soler could be traded for starting pitching in the near future. Earlier in the offseason, rumors swirled that Soler could be part of a deal for Shelby Miller.
Miller has already been traded, but he could be part of a deal for a young pitcher, who is under team control. That would maximize the Cubs’ resources as they continue to push for a World Series run in 2016.
With Fowler added to the lineup, here’s what the everyday lineup could look like:
- OF Dexter Fowler
- OF Jason Heyward
- 1B Anthony Rizzo
- 3B Kris Bryant
- OF Kyle Schwarber
- 2B Ben Zobrist
- C Miguel Montero
- SS Addison Russell
Now, that’s one scary lineup. Fowler gives the Cubs a pure leadoff hitter, which is something they hadn’t had in a while until he came to town last season. His second half was especially solid and he reached base consistently for the club, while hitting for nice power out of the leadoff spot.
One other implication of this signing could be that the Cubs are shopping catcher Miguel Montero. This is less likely given his $14 million price tag in each of the next two seasons, but it’s possible. If they eat some of his contract, they could deal him and move Schwarber to catcher and have the scariest lineup in baseball.
Certainly, the Fowler deal comes as a shock given the fact it was reported he was headed to the Orioles. Fans on the North Side are surely happy, though. Now, the team has its pure leadoff hitter and is one step closer to breaking the Curse of the Billy Goat.