Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones said Fowler told him he was excited to join the Orioles.
“I’ve spoken to him. He should be on his way here now,” Jones said, via the Baltimore Sun. He’s excited. I know he was a little bit frustrated with the process. Even players with contracts are frustrated with the whole free agency process.”
Fowler was headed to spring training, just not Orioles spring training. According to the Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer, Fowler drove from his home in Las Vegas to Cubs camp near Phoenix on Wednesday to take his physical.
A day later, the deal was official, apparently to the surprise of the Orioles.
Buster Olney reported Tuesday that Fowler had agreed to a three-year deal with the Orioles, but Fowler’s agent, Casey Close, said his client didn’t “come close” to signing on the dotted line with Baltimore.
But Jones was certainly under a different impression. The five-time All-Star seemed to be so sure that Fowler was joining the Orioles that he began speculation on where the soon-to-be 30-year-old would fit in.
“With Fowler, he’s proven he can play 150-plus games,” Jones said, via the Sun. He gives us stability. He can play centerfield also. He’s an everyday player.”
Ultimately, Fowler left millions on the table to follow his heart back to Chicago, where he will likely once again roam center field and bat leadoff.