dexter fowler outfieldGiven the slim possibility that he could return to the Chicago Cubs on a bargain deal, given his impact to the team because of draft pick compensation, and given his potential impact on the market as one of the few remaining notable free agents, we continue to track Dexter Fowler’s long strange trip.

And now it’s February, and Fowler is still un-signed. I did not see that one coming.

At last check, a rumor started floating – well, one executive’s best guess, anyway – that Fowler was “most likely” going to wind up back with the Cubs. If you are asking my opinion, I’d put it at far less than “most likely,” but it was worth the discussion.

Dave Kaplan chimes in today with what he’s picking up around the league, and he, too, is hearing that it’s not likely going to be a reunion for the Cubs and Fowler, reporting on Twitter that it “could” happen, but only if the stars align just right. While he didn’t get into the particulars, it’s not too hard to point out the hurdles to a re-marriage: there’s no clear starting spot for Fowler right now, the Cubs have already spent a ton of money this offseason, re-signing Fowler would effectively cost the Cubs their second round pick, and there are still other interested teams.



On that last point, Kaplan did expand a little, saying that the White Sox and Rangers are among the teams still “in play” for Fowler. We have intermittently talked about each of those teams – together with the Angels, for another example – as on-paper fits for Fowler, though each would have to surrender a relatively high pick to sign him (Rangers at 20, or White Sox at 28).

As teams get stingier with their draft picks and bonus pools, and as budgets run dry this time of year, it’s getting trickier to figure just where Fowler will land. Coming off a solid season at age 30, you wouldn’t have thought it would be this hard, but here we are.

At least Fowler doesn’t seem to be sweating it just yet:


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