Surprise! Dexter Fowler signs with the Cubs, not the Orioles!

46 Comments

I’ve been writing about baseball for nine years now and I can’t ever remember a player being reported by multiple solid outlets as agreeing to a deal on one day and signing with another the next, but Dexter Fowler just did. Fowler is not, as was reported, signing with the Orioles. The Cubs just announced they have signed him instead.

Two days ago multiple reliable reporters reported that Fowler had agreed a three-year, $35 million deal with Baltimore. Just yesterday Orioles players were talking about Fowler’s addition to the club. Then, about 15 minutes ago, the Cubs announced that they and Fowler have agreed to terms on a 2016 contract worth $13 million with a mutual option for 2017. Fowler just walked into Cubs camp in Mesa, Arizona.

What the heck happened? Jon Heyman reports that Fowler insisted that the Orioles give him an opt-out after the first year and that they refused, causing him to go back to Chicago. If so, it’s weird that the deal was reported as basically final by everyone and that people with the Orioles were talking about it openly. Normally, a player is never mentioned unless and until the ink is dry.

Oh well, that’s over. And it ends with the O’s down a player they thought they had in the bag and the Cubs having a fourth outfielder they didn’t plan on having as of yesterday.