The Chicago Cubs are set to extend a qualifying offer to outfielder Dexter Fowler, as the team reported on Friday afternoon.
The deal that Chicago has sent is for one-year, worth $15.8 million. Fowler is expected to decline the offer and become a free agent as he will look for a multi-year deal.
Fowler will have until November 13 to decide the next step for his career. If he declines, it will not come as a surprise as no player has accepted a qualifying offer under the current format. There are times where some players decline and later re-sign, but the vast majority of them look ahead to the destination in which they may be headed.
The only way in which Fowler would return would be under the circumstances of a long-term deal comitting him as the everyday center fielder if not an everday left fielder.
Right now, the chances of Fowler returning at all are weak but Jed Hoyer, the Cubs general manager, thinks otherwise as he has not closed the door on it.
Hoyer said, “We plan on talking with Fowler's agent Casey Close. We had a great year with Dexter. He was a catalyst for our offense all year.”
Fowler enjoyed a rather strong 2015 season as he hit .250 with a 17 home runs which is a career high for the 29 year old alongside 20 stolen bases while having apperared in 156 games played. He led the team in runs scored with 102 in his first season in Chicago and was a key contributor during the second half of the season wher ehe hit .272 with a .389 on-base percentage over that span.
Fowler came over from the Houston Astros in a January trade which sent infielder Luis Valbuena and RHP Dan Straily the other way. If he does sign elsewhere, the Cubs would receive an extra pick in next June's MLB Draft as compensation.