Disputes continue between Orioles and Dexter Fowler over who said what and when

SHARE Disputes continue between Orioles and Dexter Fowler over who said what and when
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Dexter Fowler (center), shown here arriving at Cubs camp Thursday, joins Jason Heyward (left) in an upgraded Cubs outfield.

MESA, Ariz. – The dispute over what really happened between Dexter Fowler and the Baltimore Orioles this week continued into Friday.

Fowler, who re-signed with the Cubs on a one-year deal Thursday despite earlier reports he’d signed with the Orioles, said Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones texted him to resolve one part of this week’s confusion, but Fowler refuted Oriole GM Dan Duquette’s account Thursday of why Fowler rejected the O’s.

“We made a very competitive offer,” Duquette told media in Florida Thursday. “There was not an agreement to terms because they kept insisting on an opt-out [clause].

“The Orioles have made it clear that that type of deal wouldn’t work for us. Based on that it sounds to me like he wanted to return to Chicago.”

Said Fowler on Friday morning: “No, it wasn’t a sticking point. That’s why it’s weird. It’s a little murky. But that wasn’t the sticking point at all.”

Fowler said he chose the Cubs’ $13 million deal over the O’s latest three-year offer because “this is where my heart is” and for the chance to finish some unfinished business with the Cubs.

Part of the confusion was created by Jones, who on Wednesday spoke to reporters about having talked with Fowler, saying Fowler was “excited” to sign and that “he should be on his way here now.”

Fowler said he didn’t tell Jones during their conversations – and certainly didn’t tell the Orioles front office — that he’d accepted any of their offers.

Late Thursday, Baltimore media continued to cite sources – presumably from the team – saying Fowler had agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal and had been expected to take a physical for the team Thursday.

Fowler said Jones texted him after the Cubs deal went down.

“He said, `My bad. I jumped the gun,’ “ Fowler said.

The bigger dispute involved the Orioles’ part in the premature reports.

Fowler’s agent, Casey Close, issued a blistering statement Thursday, criticizing the “irresponsible behavior” of the Orioles and “complicit” media.

“Casey’s here for me,” Fowler said when asked about the statement. “And obviously the process didn’t go like it was supposed to. He was pretty irritated about it.”

Close’s statement:

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