The Chicago Cubs have re-signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a one-year deal with a mutual option for the 2017 season, the team announced Thursday.
The deal is reportedly worth $8 million with a $5 million buyout on a $9 million option for next year, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
As of Tuesday, the Orioles reportedly reached an agreement with Fowler on a three-year deal worth $35 million before talks fell through. Fowler insisted on an opt-out option after one year with Baltimore but the Orioles refused to make it happen, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Baltimore did not want to lose a first-round pick for Fowler.
Later Thursday, Fowler’s agent Casey Close released a statement expressing frustration at the Orioles organization for “recklessly spreading rumors.”
“In my 25 years in this business, never before have I witnessed such irresponsible behavior on so many fronts. Both the Orioles front office and members of the media were so busy recklessly spreading rumors that they forgot or simply chose not to concern themselves with the truth. The Orioles’ willful disregard of colelctively bargained rules governing free agency and the media’s eager complicity in helping violate those rules are reprehensible. Dexter Fowler never reached agreement with the Orioles and did not come close to signing with the clob; any suggestion otherwise is only a continuation of an already disturbing trend.”
Fowler, 29, is coming off a season in which he hit a career-high 17 home runs and batted .270 with 46 RBIs last season. A switch-hitter, Fowler batted .326 with 13 home runs and a .399 OBP from the right side.
The Cubs extended Fowler a qualifying offer of $15.8 million for one year in November before he started considering the Orioles and other teams.
Earlier in the day, the Cubs traded outfielder Chris Coghlan to the Athletics for pitcher Aaron Brooks.