According to one report, the Toronto Blue Jays are showing strong interest in free agent outfielder, Dexter Fowler
According to Jon Heyman, who has a source, the Toronto Blue Jays are showing strong interest in free agent outfielder, Dexter Fowler. The FanRag Sports scribe explains that this interest is the club looking to move on from Jose Bautista and trying to fill holes on both sides of the ball.
Fowler would make a lot of sense for the Blue Jays, as Heyman points out. In fact, our Spencer Redmond already pointed out just how much sense this move would make for Toronto. He would provide a leadoff presence that they really haven’t had since Ben Revere, if you want to include Ben Revere at all. If not, you have to go back even further. Imagine Fowler stepping to the plate to get things started for Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin. It would be so nice.
Add to that the defensive upgrade that Fowler would bring over Bautista and you have a player that looks almost ideal for this club, this offseason. Now, like Bautista, Fowler rejected the $17M qualifying offer from the Cubs, so the Blue Jays would (under current CBA) lose a draft pick should they sign him. But, as things stand right now, they would be netting one for Bautista’s departure, which would basically cancel each other out. The finer details are a bit more involved, but you get the idea. And, should Edwin Encarnacion sign elsewhere, the Blue Jays would be +1 in the draft pick side of things.
Of course, all of this is hanging in the balance until the new collective agreement is ironed out between the Players’ Union and MLB. That could be why, if there is indeed real traction on this, something might not get done until this is sorted out. Teams just might be waiting around to pounce on these big deals. That is, of course, unless the signing comes in the fashion of a team re-signing their player like the Mets just did with Yoenis Cespedes. These kind of deals don’t get complicated by draft pick compensation, etc.
That is why it might be easy to jump to the Blue Jays preferring to spend their money on Edwin. They could get a deal done with him just as quickly as the Mets did. And, if they were willing to bring their offer up from $80M to something closer to Yo’s deal, they very well could. But, that would coast a pretty penny. And, the move still wouldn’t address the outfield situation, or the bullpen, or backup catcher. Now, Heyman does his part to keep that flame burning as he says the club is still interested in bringing back the Walker of Parrots. So, there’s that.
However, until this rumor goes from “showing interest” to “have made an offer, or have a deal in place”, we shouldn’t be getting our hopes up too high for Fowler to take his spot alongside Kevin Pillar to hold down the Rogers Centre outfield. It’s the offseason and lots of teams have “interest” and “discussions” about lots of different players. The Blue Jays would be silly not to have interest. They’re not a silly club. Of course they have interest.
Just how much interest remains to be seen. Players in a position like Fowler (and Edwin) would be wise to wait things out a bit to see if the new CBA impacts who can bid on them. That means that things could be drawn out for a lot longer than we thought. We may have to dream on Dexter Fowler for a bit longer.
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: ARTURO PARDAVILA III UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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