View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Fri Nov 4th, 2016 04:59 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
Posts: 44374
Not even 24 hours after helping the Chicago Cubs snap their 108-year World Series drought, Dexter Fowler made it clear he won't be exercising his $9-million mutual option for 2017.

Instead, Fowler will receive a $5-million buyout from the Cubs and hit the open market, though the 30-year-old center fielder won't rule out re-signing with the defending champions. (The Cubs will likely extend Fowler a qualifying offer, guaranteeing them draft-pick compensation should he sign elsewhere).

"I'm definitely going to be a free agent, but hopefully it happens a little bit quicker than last year," Fowler said Thursday evening during an appearance on SportsCenter. "You can't control what goes on, but I loved my time in Chicago and I'm definitely not counting them out, but we'll see what God has planned for us now."

In 2016, after unexpectedly re-signing with the Cubs, Fowler enjoyed the finest season of his nine-year career, posting career highs in WAR (4.7), on-base percentage (.393), walk rate (14.3 percent), and weighted runs created plus (129) while smashing 13 homers and swiping 13 bases with an .840 OPS in 125 games.

Fowler was a key contributor to the Cubs' first World Series title in more than a century, as the newly minted All-Star managed a .724 OPS with three homers and five doubles this postseason, and became the first player in history to lead off Game 7 of the World Series with a home run Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Since debuting with Chicago two years ago, Fowler has accrued more WAR than all but 10 outfielders, hitting .261/.367/.427 while averaging 15 homers and 16 steals per season. Last winter, Fowler appeared to have a three-year deal in place with Baltimore in late February, but abruptly changed course and re-upped with the Cubs after the Orioles refused to grant him an opt-out clause following the 2016 campaign, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.