The Rockies and center fielder Dexter Fowler have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract, according to an announcement from the team. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the deal is worth $11.6 million.
Fowler was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter after earning $2.35 million last season. Because he originally qualified for arbitration as a Super Two player, he will still be under team control for one more season after the new two-year deal expires.
Fowler, who turns 27 in March, owns a .271/.364/.427 batting line over his first five seasons in the big leagues. 2012 was his best season yet, as the switch-hitter batted .300/.389/.474 with 13 home runs, 53 RBI, 12 stolen bases and an .863 OPS.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.