With the signing of Fowler, the Cubs cut away at a strength of the Cardinals
Dexter Fowler’s 3 year $35 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell through when the 29 year old Center fielder demanded an opt-out clause that was not given. A week later Fowler agreed to a one year deal with the Chicago Cubs with an option for 2017.
Fowler’s signing shakes up the entire Chicago Cubs roster. With Fowler’s plus range in Center Field, it allows Jason Heyward to move over to right field where he feels more comfortable. Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler can now platoon in left field and even gives the Cubs some trade bait to acquire another pitcher. Also, having Heyward in right now makes him even more of a defensive asset than what he provided in center.
The signing of Fowler makes the Cubs a complete team. With a speedy bat at the top of the order, the Cubs finally have the leadoff man that they were lacking. In addition, they improve tremendously defensively with the only hole in their defense in Left Field.
Bernie: Cubs bring back Dexter Fowler, and turn up the heat on the Cardinals … https://t.co/iRkhuG65I9
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) February 26, 2016
The Chicago Cubs also have table setters for their home run hitters in the middle of their line-up. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber all had at least 25 homeruns. Last season more than half of the Cubs homeruns came with the bases empty. Now that Fowler is at the top of the lineup, the Cubs will be able to produce more runs by having more men on base.
This signing means the St. Louis Cardinals have a lot of problems on their hands. The Cardinal’s batting order is primarily gap to gap power. The Cardinals were going to be able to exploit the large gaps that the Cubs were leaving open before the signing of Fowler. With their improved defense, the Cardinals are going to have to find other ways to get on base.