Whether this actually winds up impacting the NL Central or not, this is just tremendous news: we no longer have to feel mildly weird about rooting for or against old friend Dexter Fowler. He’s no longer a Cardinal!
Fowler has been traded to his old manager, Joe Maddon, and the Angels:
Cards get player to be named back in Fowler trade, so this looks like a salary dump. Fowler reunites with Joe Maddon.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2021
Fowler, 35 in March, is in the final year of the big contract he signed with the Cardinals after departing the Cubs, a move that didn’t really work out well for the Cardinals or the Cubs. The last few years, Fowler has transitioned into a part-time outfielder with a below-average bat and passable defense. But he’s undoubtedly still a bright spot in the clubhouse, still got on base at a good clip in 2019, and likely improves the overall outfield mix on the Angels. If nothing else, it could give them more cover to allow top youngster Jo Adell more time at AAA.
I wonder if this move, which will clear some salary for the Cardinals (though I presume they’re eating some, too), precedes some other addition. The Cardinals are rumored to be in on (pricey) starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. UPDATING on that – sure enough, the Cardinals are eating a LOT of salary:
The Cards are also responsible for the final two $1 million installments in Fowler's signing bonus, so the Angels' total cost for a veteran 4th oufielder is just $1.75 million.
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) February 5, 2021
That’s not a lot of savings for the Cardinals, which makes you wonder, again, if there’s some very specific need they’re filling shortly with that $1.75 million (plus however much they have left in the budget).
For now, though, I’ll just be happy that Dexter Fowler is finally out of St. Louis.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 5, 2021