After the Baltimore Orioles misreported they had signed Dexter Fowler last offseason, Fowler’s manager Casey Close isn’t sure if he will discuss business with the Orioles regarding Fowler.
Last offseason, the Baltimore Orioles got into a messy situation when they announced they had signed Dexter Fowler to a three-year, deal worth $33 Million. That part doesn’t seem fishy, right? After all, the Orioles thought they had obtained a leadoff hitter and an outfielder
Two days later, Major League Baseball announced Fowler had actually signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Fowler went on to have a good season and hit a leadoff home run in Game 7 of the World Series.
After the deal with the Cubs was done, Fowlers manager Casey Close ripped the Orioles and the media by using the Excel Sports Manager Twitter account:
"“In my 25 years in this business, never before have I witnessed such irresponsible behavior on so many fronts. Both the Orioles front office and members of the media were so busy recklessly spreading rumors that they forgot or simply chose not to concern themselves with the truth.“The Orioles’ willful disregard of collectively bargained rules governing free agency and the media’s eager complicity in helping the Orioles violate those rules are reprehensible. Dexter Fowler never reached agreement with the Orioles and did not come close to signing with the club; any suggestion otherwise is only a continuation of an already disturbing trend.”"
Close did have a right to be angry, but he has a decision to make on whether he’ll let the Orioles negotiate with Fowler this offseason. Fowler is slated to re-enter the free agent market this offseason, and he hopes he comes off the market quicker than he did last season.
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Here’s what Fowler had to say to SportsCenter on Thursday night:
"I’m definitely going to be a free agent, but hopefully it happens a little bit quicker than last year. You can’t control what goes on, but I loved my time in Chicago and I’m definitely not counting them out, but we’ll see what God has planned for us now.”"
Fowler made his first All-Star team with the Cubs, and could provide some offense to a questionable Orioles lineup.
The question is would the Orioles and Casey Close put behind what happened last offseason and conduct business as usual? Or is the bridge terribly burned?
I guess we’ll find out as Hot Stove season rolls around.