Dexter Fowler shocked everyone — including his Cubs teammates — when the previous report of his three-year, $35 million deal with the Orioles was negated and he finalized a contract with the Cubs on Thursday. It’s a one-year deal for $13 million with a mutual option for 2017. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman notes that Fowler had requested an opt-out clause in his contract with the Orioles and sought work elsewhere when they turned down the idea.
Fowler’s return to the Cubs was dramatic, as Gordon Wittenmyer reports for the Chicago Sun-Times. Manager Joe Maddon hinted that his players were about to have a “moment”, which didn’t give much away. Starter Jason Hammel said, “I thought for sure it was some circus animal or some weird magician.” It wasn’t a bad assumption, as Maddon has a reputation for bringing in some odd guests for his team.
Rather than a penguin or a python, members of the Cubs saw Fowler walked into the field with team president Theo Epstein. Catcher David Ross said he “didn’t know what to think” and wondered if Fowler had just come back to bid farewell.
The best reaction, though, was Epstein’s. Via CSN Chicago’s Kelly Crull: