The one-time All-Star is coming off a 2021 season that saw him play in only seven games, as he tore his ACL while playing against the Blue Jays in early April and it caused him to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the year.
Fowler is just two seasons removed from a 19 home run, 44 extra-base hit season in 2019 when he posted a slash line of .238/.346/.409. However, his speed and contact has dropped drastically as he has aged. During the first nine seasons of his career, Fowler collected 134 stolen bases, while posting a slash line of .268/.367/.430. During his past four seasons (albeit COVID and surgery related), Fowler had just 15 stolen bases with a .219/.320/.367 slash line.
Even if Fowler had signed prior to Spring Training and been in camp the entire time he would still have a tough time cracking the Opening Day lineup. Unless there is a serious injury, Fowler won’t be ahead of Lourdes Gurriel Jr, George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez or Raimel Tapia, and with Cavan Biggio being an option in the outfield, Fowler is in tough.
The Blue Jays are giving Dexter Fowler an opportunity as they sign him to a Minor League contract after missing all but seven games in 2021.
The signing does give Fowler a couple opportunities, one being he could start the season in Triple-A Buffalo and prove his skill level is still MLB worthy. The second option is he could not just be showing himself to the Blue Jays, but it could be an audition to the rest of baseball to see if they could use him. I would think unless he blows the Blue Jays camp away and forces them to take him north of the border to start the season, they would allow him to go to another organization with no strings attached to give him one last chance at the majors.
Fowler has long been rumoured to be of interest to the Blue Jays dating back to 2014. Jon Morosi reported over seven years ago a trade possibility that had the Blue Jays sending Dalton Pompey to the Houston Astros for Fowler.
In 2016, Jon Heyman reported that Toronto had offered Fowler a four-year deal worth $60 Million ($15 Million annually), but Fowler’s camp was seeking $18 Million per year. Fowler would go on to sign a five-year deal worth $82.5 Million with the St. Louis Cardinals and our very own Chris Henderson wrote a piece in 2018 about how it was a deal the Blue Jays thankfully lost out on.
This time around the signing is as low risk as it gets, but what are your thoughts? Does Fowler ever take the field in a regular season game for the Blue Jays?