Outfielder Dexter Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer to become a free agent ahead of Monday’s deadline. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports that Fowler is seeking a four-year contract.
Fowler, you may recall, had an interesting offseason ahead of the 2016 season. As he had draft pick compensation attached to him as a result of rejecting the Cubs’ qualifying offer, he didn’t sign until late February. It began with a three-year deal with the Orioles, but that fizzled out. Fowler then signed with the Cubs two days later on a one-year, $13 million contract.
It ended up working out well for both sides. Fowler helped the Cubs win the World Series for the first time in 108 years and he had a good enough season to raise his stock, finishing the regular season with a .276/.393/.447 triple-slash line, 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances. As a result, Fowler will likely secure a better multi-year deal than he might have if things panned out with the Orioles.
The Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Monday that Tigers starter Michael Fulmer is the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year. He’s the first Tiger to win the award since Justin Verlander in 2006. He’s the first starting pitcher to win the award in the AL since Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 with the Rays.
Fulmer, 23, went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 132/42 K/BB ratio over 159 innings for the Tigers. He and Verlander anchored an otherwise uninspiring starting rotation.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez impressed in the final two months of the season, putting up a 1.032 OPS with 20 homers in 53 games. However, voters likely thought that Fulmer’s effort over a full season was more impressive than Sanchez’s over one-third of a season.
Fulmer was named first in 26 of 30 ballots with Sanchez taking the other four. Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin finished in third place followed by Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz, Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, and White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won the AL ROY last year.
No surprises here. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was named the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He’s the first Dodger to win the award since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996. (Fun fact: Hollandsworth was the fifth consecutive Dodger rookie to win the award, following Hideo Nomo, Raul Mondesi, Mike Piazza, and Eric Karros. Mondesi and Piazza won unanimously.) Seager is the first shortstop to win the NL ROY since Hanley Ramirez in 2006.
Seager, 22, dazzled in his first full season, batting .308/.365/.512 with 26 home runs, 72 RBI, and 105 runs scored in 687 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the NLCS. Corey, the brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, was drafted by the Dodgers 18th overall in the first round of the 2012 draft.
Nationals outfielder Trea Turner finished in second place in Rookie of the Year balloting followed by Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda in third place. Rockies shortstop Trevor Story was fourth, followed by Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, Rockies starter Jon Gray, Mets starter Steven Matz, and Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the NL ROY unanimously last year.