The Orioles continue to work on what has been reported as a three-year deal for RHP Yovani Gallardo. Multiple reports Friday indicated the two sides were discussing perimeters and were inching towards an agreement. It has been reported if Dan Duquette lands Gallardo and surrenders the Orioles’ first round pick, he would be willing to forfeit the team’s second pick to sign Dexter Fowler.
The Orioles are exploring multiple options to add a bat and signing Fowler is one way they could go. Duquette is believed to be interested in Pedro Alvarez, who doesn’t fit on the O’s roster with the way it is currently constructed, or make a deal with the Reds for Jay Bruce.
Ken Rosenthal reported Friday, the Orioles first choice “is to follow the expected signing of free-agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo with the signing of free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler.” Rosenthal explained if Fowler signed with a team, like the White Sox, the Orioles “backup plan appears to be a trade for Reds right fielder Jay Bruce.” The Reds are not looking for top prospects in return for Bruce so the Orioles would be able to matchup on a deal for the outfielder.
The Orioles, according to Rosenthal, prefer Dexter Fowler “because of his leadoff skills” making him a better fit.
Roch Kubatko provided an update on the Orioles during a segment Friday with Casey Stern and Jon Paul Morosi on MLB Network Radio.
Kubatko said Fowler is in play for the Orioles. Kubatko views Fowler as a better option for the Orioles than either Alvarez or Bruce. Adding Fowler would give the Orioles a leadoff hitter and a right fielder. The Orioles do not need another designated hitter with Mark Trumbo already on the team. Chris Davis is the team’s everyday first baseman. While it would cost them a draft pick to sign Fowler, Duquette would not have to trade any players currently in the organization for Bruce.
The White Sox remain in the mix for Fowler and Bruce Levine thinks the Cubs are still interested in re-signing him. Levine believes there is enough playing time for Fowler with the Cubs and Joe Maddon could make an outfield mix of Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Chris Coghlan and Fowler work. As previously reported, the Cubs will not close the door on re-signing Fowler as long as he remains on the market.
The Rangers are also believed to be interested in Dexter Fowler. Signing Fowler would give Texas depth in the outfield and put them in a better position to withstand Josh Hamilton’s inevitable trips to the disabled list.
Stay tuned. If the Orioles are able to land Yovani Gallardo, a move with Dexter Fowler could come soon after, especially if he’s willing to sign a two-year contract in the $20-25 million range.