Dexter Fowler Officially Declines Cubs Qualifying Offer
As expected, Dexter Fowler officially declined the Cubs $17.2 million qualifying offer prior to Monday’s deadline. Fowler will test free agency and according to Bruce Levine he is looking for a four-year contract.
Prior to Monday’s deadline, it was believed Fowler was looking for a multi-year contract in the three- or four-year range with an AAV of around $14 million. Reports Monday suggested Fowler could be looking at a four-year, $60 million deal as a free agent this off-season.
Dexter Fowler was one of 10 players that received a qualifying offer. Eight of the 10 players declined the $17.2 million qualifying offer for next season.
OF Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), OF Yoenis Cespedes (Mets), OF/INF Ian Desmond (Rangers), 3B Justin Turner (Dodgers), RHP Kenley Jansen (Dodgers), RHP Jeremy Hellickson (Phillies), 2B Neil Walker (Mets), OF/DH Mark Trumbo (Orioles) and OF Dexter Fowler are the 10 players that received qualifying offers.
Neil Walker (Mets) and Jeremy Hellickson (Phillies) accepted the qualifying offer and will return to the Mets and Phillies on one-year, $17.2 million contracts for next season.
The Cubs will receive a draft pick as compensation, along with the slot money, if Fowler signs with another team this off-season. This is the second year in a row the Cubs made him a qualifying offer. Fowler declined a year ago and eventually re-signed with the Cubs in Spring Training.
Fowler has been linked to several teams already, including the Mets, Giants and Blue Jays, with the Cardinals reportedly having the most interest in signing him.
Dexter Fowler had an excellent season with the Cubs as he helped the team reach the ultimate goal of winning The World Series. Fowler earned his trip to San Diego but was unable to play in the All-Star Game. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 25 doubles, seven triples and 13 home runs for a .840 OPS in 125 games.