Multiple reports Friday indicated the Cubs continue to monitor the remaining free agent market. The front office added RHP Aaron Crow on a minor league contract and there could be more moves on the horizon for both position players and pitchers.
The Sun-Times reported “nothing appears imminent” but the Cubs “continue to monitor the status of a sizeable group of remaining big league free agents.” The Cubs like the roster currently in camp. As is the case with all 30 teams, the front office is always looking for ways make improvements.
According to the Sun-Times, “One player the team has monitored closely all winter is Dexter Fowler” and the Cubs “remained interested in a reunion” that would allow Jason Heyward to move back to right field. Gordon Wittenmyer explained that if the Cubs were to re-sign Fowler it would “only be at a steep discount on the years and dollars” he was looking for earlier in the off-season. Jesse Rogers reported Friday a reunion with Fowler “is still unlikely.”
Jed Hoyer said not to expect any significant trades because “right now that front’s pretty quiet” but that could “change with one phone call.”
Reports throughout the week pointed to Dexter Fowler signing with the Orioles, possibly a two- or three-year deal in the $12-13 million AAV range. The Orioles went from being confident deals would get done with Fowler and RHP Yovani Gallardo to Dan Duquette not willing to address the progress with the two players on Saturday morning. Duquette told Roch Kubatko there’s still “a lot of work to do to complete the roster.”
Kubatko added Saturday the Orioles are “considering a number of outfielders” not only Fowler and the other options would not cost Baltimore a draft pick.
The White Sox are not done adding depth to their outfield according to a report from Bruce Levine. And the Southsiders remain interested in Dexter Fowler.
Levine indicated Fowler has been “hearing from three teams.” Along with the White Sox, the Rangers and Orioles are also interested in him.
The Cubs could re-sign Austin Jackson, according to Jesse Rogers, as a way to improve the team’s outfield defense. Jackson is still available. The Cubs “are not convinced Matt Szczur or another in-house candidate” can provide what the team is looking for in the outfield.
According to Jon Heyman, the Indians are considering Austin Jackson and the White Sox could be as well. The Angels, Brewers and possibly the Rangers are the other teams that Jackson could land with as Spring Training gets underway.