Outfielder Dexter Fowler has requested and been granted a release from his minor league contract with the Blue Jays, reports Scott Mitchell of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Toronto elected not to select him onto the big league roster, and Fowler is now a free agent.
The 36-year-old Fowler signed with the Jays during Spring Training. He didn’t appear in a game with Triple-A Buffalo until last Thursday, as he finished his recovery from the ACL tear that ended his 2021 season in April. The veteran switch-hitter only played in three games with the Bisons, collecting five hits (all singles) in 12 at-bats with a pair of walks and strikeouts apiece.
Fowler will now presumably set out in search of another MLB opportunity. A respected 14-year veteran, he’d surely at least find more minor league interest if he’s amenable to another non-roster deal. It’s not clear whether he’ll find an immediate big league job after just 15 Triple-A plate appearances, but perhaps a team dissatisfied with its internal outfield options could turn to a player with a solid .259/.358/.417 career line.
The Jays have relied on George Springer, Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Raimel Tapia and Bradley Zimmer thus far. Tapia and Zimmer have each struggled, but the Jays acquired both players via trade in recent weeks. (The Zimmer acquisition came after Fowler had signed with Toronto). Hernández has been on the injured list because of a oblique strain, but he’s set to head out on a minor league rehab assignment. It seems the Jays are content with that quintet as their outfield grouping for now.