Dexter Fowler Signs with Cardinals

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dexter Fowler put together an All-Star-caliber season with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and several teams had expressed strong interest in bringing aboard the free-agent center fielder before Fowler settled on the St. Louis Cardinals as his new home.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the team has scheduled a press conference for Friday to announce Fowler's signing.

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball first reported Fowler had a deal in place with the Cardinals. Heyman added the deal is rumored to be for at least five years and $16 million per season.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, citing major league sources, reported Tuesday that the Cardinals met with Fowler's agents Monday and made an initial offer. 

Fowler was dialed in throughout 2016, and the numbers prove as much. In 125 games, he batted .276 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI and 13 stolen bases while working as a switch-hitting linchpin at the top of the Chicago order. 

MLB Trade Rumors' Tim Dierkes, Steve Adams and Jeff Todd also noted Fowler "led all free agents with a .393 on-base percentage in 2016 and reinforced his center field defense as at least average."

After recording a career-best 4.2 offensive wins above replacement, per Baseball-Reference.com, Fowler should be a major addition in St. Louis a year after he settled for a one-year pact with the Cubs.

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