Friday, December 9, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Cardinals to Sign Dexter Fowler

It looks like St Louis will be the destination for FA OF Dexter Fowler.  The deal is rumored to be for 5 years/$80 M or $16 M AAV.  Fowler is a player I've liked since he was a prospect in the Rockies system.  He's just been a late bloomer turning in 2 excellent seasons the past 2 years with the Cubs.  He's entering his age 31 season so the contract will take him through his age 35 season.  The back end of the deal may not be perfect for the Cardinals but they should get 2-3 more seasons of his prime performance before he starts to tail off or get more injuries.

The Cardinals were looking at a starting OF of Piscotty in RF, Grichuk in CF and Tommy Pham in LF.  Fowler will take over in CF with Grichuk moving to LF and Pham will be the 4'th OF and might play some 1B.  Just taking a quick peek at the Cardinals roster and I'm surprised by the lack of power in that lineup which looks downright Giantsy.  Not sure of what kind of hitters they have coming along in their farm system, but I would say they need to hope their pitching holds up bigly over the next 2-3 seasons.

8 comments:

  1. One additional thought: Fowler had a QO, so the Cardinals give up their #19 first round pick which moves the Giants up a notch from #21 to #20. Cubs will get a Compensatory First Round pick.

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  2. I might be wrong, but I think this is an overpay and too long of a contract. Not as bad as Heyward last year, but not a good signing in my uninformed, armchair GM opinion.

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    1. Let's see. Cost on the open market for 1 Win these days is right around $8 M. Fowler has averaged 4.0 fWAR over the past 2 seasons and 2.7 over the past 6. He's 31 years old now. I would say there is a high probability that he will earn at least 10 fWAR over the next 5 years, so it's a reasonably good deal for the Cardinals, especially since they did not have any ready in-house options for CF.

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  3. Yeah, but even in his presser to introduce him as a Cardinal they were questioning how long he could play at CF. Prior to 2016, Fowler averaged worse than -9 defensive runs saved per season. He only had one full season in which his DWAR was positive. I wouldn't be surprised if he only played there 3 seasons at most. He also has only played on teams whos parks have benefit the hitter ( Colorado, Houston and Chicago.), so maybe that might have boosted his WAR.

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    1. It's just not that hard to put up 2 fWAR per seasons which is all he has to do to earn back the cost of his contract.

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    2. Doesn't WAR factor in park?

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    3. It does, but Park Factors are not perfect, so it is possible that playing in a hitter friendly park could cause a small boost in WAR.

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  4. The real baseball world agrees with you. I guess I have to reassess my opinion of cost and value when looking at WAR then, because I would never have thought that a little above average player would be worth 16 million a season. Maybe Harper might be worth around 40 million then. He is twice the player Fowler is, as well as twice the headache.

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