Dexter Fowler won’t be returning to the Cubs in 2016.
The outfielder reportedly agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal with the Orioles on Tuesday.
Theo Epstein never officially closed the door on resigning Fowler, who batted .250 and posted career highs in home runs (17), hits (149), runs (102) and games played (150) last season. The soon-to-be 30-year-old rejected Chicago’s $15.8 million qualifying offer in November.
Because a qualifying offer was made, Chicago will receive the No. 28 overall pick in June’s draft from Baltimore for signing Fowler, who is expected to play right field and lead off for the Orioles. That pick will ultimately be forefitted following the signings of Jason Heyward and John Lackey.
Fowler was phenomenal in Chicago’s Wild Card win over Pittsburgh in October, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a home run and a steal.
As of right now, the Cubs seem to be set in the outfield with Kyle Schwarber in left, Heyward in center, Jorge Soler in right andChris Coghlan and Javier Beaz serving as the primary backups.
Cubs pitchers and catchers report to spring training
Stats via Baseball-Reference