Outfielder Dexter Fowler says he will test free agency for the second time in as many seasons, MLB.com’s Andrew Simon reports. On SportsCenter, Fowler said, “I’m definitely going to be a free agency, but hopefully it happens a little bit quicker than last year.”
Fowler, 30, didn’t sign with the Cubs until the end of February this year after backing out of a deal with the Orioles. It turned out to be fortuitous for both sides as the Cubs went on to win the World Series. Fowler’s stock has certainly risen. He had his best season, batting .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances while playing solid defense in center field. He hit .250 in the postseason, including a leadoff home run in Game 7 of the World Series against the Indians.
Fowler earned $8 million in 2016 on a one-year deal with the Cubs. His mutual option was for $9 million with a $5 million buyout. Fowler, entering a much weaker free agent market, will likely have an easier time commanding a multi-year contract.