There’s a late addition to Blue Jays’ camp.
According to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com, Dexter Fowler has joined the team in Dunedin and it’s expected that the Blue Jays are going to sign him to a minor-league contract.
#BlueJays expected to sign OF Dexter Fowler to a Minor League deal with an invitation to MLB camp, per source.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) March 30, 2022
Now 36 years old, Fowler last played with the Los Angeles Angels. He only appeared in seven games for L.A. in 2021, as his season was derailed early on when he tore his ACL sliding into second base in a game against the Blue Jays.
Fowler has played 1,460 games in the big leagues over the course of 14 seasons, but he’s probably best known for his time with the Chicago Cubs, as he helped the team end their 108-year World Series drought in 2016.
The Blue Jays actually tried to sign Fowler after that season, offering him a four-year, $64-million deal, but he wound up signing a five-year, $84 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals instead. The Cardinals dumped Fowler in 2021, the final year of that contract, on the Angels and paid $14.75 million of the $16.5 million owed in the deal’s final year.
Fowler is a switch hitter with experience in centre field, though he hasn’t played there since the 2019 season, so this addition makes sense for the Blue Jays from a depth perspective.
I would assume that Fowler heads to Triple-A Buffalo out of camp. The Blue Jays have two open 40-man roster spots which seem likely to be filled up by David Phelps and Greg Bird. Fowler could find himself in the mix for a call-up if somebody gets injured at the big league level but him filling a 40-man spot right away after just a handful of spring training games would be surprising.