Dexter Fowler throws Orioles curveball by signing with Cubs (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - With an hour remaining before the Orioles hold their press conference for new pitcher Yovani Gallardo, news broke that outfielder Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs.

This has been anything but a normal spring training.

The Orioles had an agreement with Fowler on a three-year deal worth $33 million, according to multiple sources. It was done Tuesday. Now comes word that he signed a one-year deal with the Cubs that includes a mutual option.

Dexter-Fowler-Cubs-swing-white-sidebar.jpgFowler reportedly will receive $8 million with a $9 million option and $5 million buyout.

The team tweeted the news and welcomed back Fowler, who batted .250/.346/.411 last year with the Cubs before rejecting their qualifying offer.

The guy didn’t even make it to the Orioles’ physical.

Center fielder Adam Jones told us yesterday that they spoke and Fowler was on his way to Sarasota. Somehow, he got rerouted to Arizona.

Fowler told Cubs reporters that he turned down a three-year offer from another club and added, “This is where my heart is.”

The Orioles no longer have to surrender their compensation pick. They’re losing the 14th overall selection after signing Gallardo, who worked out today.

They’re also losing their projected right fielder and leadoff hitter, a guy who owns a career .363 on-base percentage.

Do the Orioles stay in-house and leave the right field competition to Nolan Reimold, Dariel Alvarez, Henry Urrutia, L.J. Hoes and Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard, or do they sign one of the remaining free agents, such as David Murphy or Will Venable?

The Orioles have talked to agent Scott Boras about Pedro Alvarez, who could serve as the primary designated hitter, but Mark Trumbo would have to play right field.

So to review: The Orioles reach agreement with Gallardo, they reach agreement with Fowler, they re-structure Gallardo’s contract and they lose Fowler to the Cubs.

Update: According to multiple reports, Fowler wanted an early opt-out clause, which nixed the agreement.

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