Whatever is or isn't going to go on with the Orioles and Yovani Gallardo, they've got other business going on too. The Orioles reached an agreement for a three year, $33 million contract with free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler on Tuesday night. The deal is, of course, pending the dreaded Orioles physical, so you will be forgiven for not going out immediately into the streets and dancing over this signing.
It's a funny coincidence - or perhaps not a coincidence at all? - that the contract reported for Fowler is for the same amount of guaranteed money as the one that had been agreed upon by Gallardo, and is still presumably in place until we find out otherwise. Before the day is out, we should have a pitcher ... or an outfielder. Either way, we're going to have a lot of fun, huh? Unless Fowler runs into physical problems too!
Maybe this signing will end up going final first, in which case it will be Fowler who costs the Orioles the #14 draft pick. The Orioles would then potentially lose the #28 draft pick if they still sign Gallardo. If they get both players, they lose both picks, and that's that.
If you've spent all of the offseason pondering the bleak emptiness that was the Orioles outfield last year, the Fowler signing - pending physical, of course - is nothing short of exciting. Fowler is coming off what represented, for him, a down year in which he "only" batted .250/.346/.411, an on-base percentage that still would have been third-best on the 2015 O's.
In the switch-hitting Fowler, the O's probably have gotten their leadoff hitter and right fielder as well. Staring at his career OBP of .363 will make you drool. Oh, and did I mention he stole 20 bases last year? This signing is so great for the O's that it makes me nervous because we can't possibly be allowed to have free agents this nice for what seems like a bargain price.
...pending the physical.