Current titleholder of “Worst Twitterer in the Universe” Bruce Levine wrote a surprisingly coherent piece for The Score where he touted the Cubs as the “most likely landing place” for Dexter Fowler.
We all liked Dexter. Â He did a nice job, especially in the second half, and wasn’t the trainwreck defensively that we’d been warned about. Â But this article reeks of a reporter carrying water for somebody’s agent. Â The biggest problem with the idea of the Cubs bringing Dexter back is that he has nowhere to play. Â Baseball players like to play baseball, it’s kind of their thing.
So Bruce just casually suggests that the Cubs trade Jorge Soler. Â Well sure, then you put Jason Heyward in right field where he’s the best defender in baseball, and you put Dexter in center and he leads off. Â That all sounds great.
Except for the part where you trade Jorge.
Granted, if a team wanted to give the Cubs a young, controllable, top half of the rotation starting pitcher for Jorge, then you start talking. Â But the Cubs have had discussions about that all offseason, and nothing has transpired. Â Next Monday is February, and February is the month when spring training starts.
All Levine writes is that the Cubs “could trade Jorge Soler for pitching help.”
I’m not trading Jorge for one year of Dexter Fowler and anything as vague as “pitching help.”
No team in baseball would value Dexter Fowler over Jorge Soler. Â They just wouldn’t. Â Dexter will be 30 on opening day. Â Jorge will be 24. Â Dexter’s career OPS+ (which includes six seasons in Colorado) is 104. Â Jorge’s is 107. Â Granted, Jorge posted a disappointing 97 last year and didn’t hit for power, and got hurt, again.
Then the playoffs started and Jorge hit .571 with a 2.341 OPS against the Cardinals, and then “slumped” to .417 and 1.250 against the Mets. Â It was a reminder that the Cubs young core isn’t just Rizzo-Bryant-Schwarber-Russell…Soler’s in there, too.
This is not how the rumors would work if something like trading Jorge is actually happening. Â It wouldn’t be focused on a move that creates a logjam in the outfield, then the Cubs fishing around to find a team to clear it up for them and give them, say, Jake Odorizzi.
There would be nothing wrong with signing Dexter. Â He’s a good player, and he fit in well with the Cubs last season. Â He’ll never live up to the man he was traded for, but that’s another long story for another time.
But if the only way to fit Dexter in is to trade Soler, it’s not a good idea. Â It’s fine if the return for Soler is a top young pitcher, but you get the feeling that if that had been possible, the Cubs would have already done that. Â But who knows, the Rays and Indians have been talking to teams all offseason and nothing has happened yet. Â Maybe it will.
I just don’t put much stock in the thought that the Cubs are Dexter’s “most likely landing place.”
But I do like the idea of the White Sox signing him, having to give up a draft pick (and giving the Cubs a compensation pick), and then playing Dexter in center and Adam Eaton in right–as Bruce suggests. Â Way to make your defense worse in two spots in one move!