The Cardinals have been connected to free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler throughout the offseason, and the club made him an initial offer Monday during a meeting with his representatives, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports. That’s at least the second offer Fowler has received – the Blue Jays have reportedly proposed a four-year deal in the $60MM neighborhood. Fowler is seeking $18MM annually on a multiyear pact.
More from Rosenthal:
- It’s likely the Dodgers and free agent third baseman Justin Turner will work out a new deal, which is the two sides’ hope, according to Rosenthal. It could come at a lower cost than expected, notes Rosenthal, who points to a lack of clear fits for Turner’s services. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicts Turner will return to the Dodgers on a five-year, $85MM accord.
- With teams reluctant to surrender a first-round pick to sign free agent outfielder/designated hitter Jose Bautista, it’s possible the 36-year-old will sign with a club that has a protected selection, contends Rosenthal. The only teams that wouldn’t have to give up a first-rounder for Bautista are those that finished in the bottom 10 in the standings last season. Bautista could be limited to signing with an American League team because of the DH, and Rosenthal points out that the Twins, Rays, Athletics and Angels are the AL franchises with protected first-rounders. However, there’s not a logical landing spot in that group, Rosenthal observes. Sources told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that Bautista’s “market is picking up,” so he might not have to settle for a deal with a low-tier club.
- Free agent right-hander Tyson Ross, who has been recovering from thoracic outlet surgery since October, is likely to sign with a team that’s adept at “handling and rehabilitating pitchers,” Rosenthal writes. One such club is the Padres, who non-tendered Ross last week in lieu of paying him an estimated $9.6MM in 2017. San Diego and Ross have mutual interest in a reunion, though, and Rosenthal notes that Ross’ affinity for Friars pitching coach Darren Balsley could help their cause. Other possibilities for Ross include the Cubs – who have tried to acquire Ross in the past – as well as the Indians, Pirates, Mariners and Giants, per Rosenthal.