Dexter Fowler’s agent, Casey Close, is upset with the Orioles and the media over erroneous report

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Update (6:52 PM EST): Orioles executive vice president of baseball Operations Dan Duquette responded. Per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun:

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Dexter Fowler became the big ticket item of the day when his reported three-year deal with the Orioles was never finalized and he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Cubs. The Baltimore and national media reports reported the deal in no uncertain terms. As Craig Calcaterra wrote earlier, he’s never seen anything like this happen in nine years of covering the sport. Nor have I, for what that’s worth.

Dexter Fowler’s agent, Casey Close of Excel Sports, is none too happy with the media nor with the Orioles organization. Close released a statement on Thursday evening that doesn’t hold back:

This isn’t the first time that Close has issued a critical statement. He did so regarding the Astros’ handling of the Brady Aiken negotiations in 2014.

Does Close have a case? If we apply Hanlon’s Razor, which essentially advises to assume ignorance over malice, then it’s reasonable to see a situation in which there was some degree of miscommunication between whichever source(s) within the Orioles organization communicated with members of the media. And the media, doing what they’ve done since social media became a thing, tweeted the information. 99 times out of 100, the information beat writers get is accurate, as we’ve seen countless times in recent years. Mistakes do happen.

If, as Vocativ’s Jack Moore notes on Twitter, an Orioles representative was leaking contract details to the media, he or she might be in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That would be a whole ‘nother can of worms.

The situation gets even muddier considering the Orioles’ reputation for backing out of deals themselves at the last minute. Their agreement with Yovani Gallardo was reworked after they became concerned with the results of his physical. They also backed out of a deal with reliever Grant Balfour in December 2013 for similar reasons.

We don’t know all the details yet, so it’s probably best to sit on the sidelines and wait. The Orioles will likely counter with a statement of their own, and any of the writers who reported on Fowler’s deal with Baltimore could as well.

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.