St. Louis Cardinals: It’s time to trade Dexter Fowler

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Dexter Fowler #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout in the seventh inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Dexter Fowler #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout in the seventh inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals should trade Dexter Fowler for “big bat” or a pitcher.

Dexter Fowler and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed on December 9, 2016 a 5-year $82.5 million dollar contract.

Dexter Fowler’s signing offered the Cards a potential lead-off hitter, with a high on base percentage and solid defense.  It also allowed the Cardinals the opportunity to move Matt Carpenter down the batting order to more of a run production spot.  Another advantage the signing created was the opportunity to move Randal Grichuk to left field.

Then GM John Mozieliak and manager Mike Matheny touted Fowler’s clubhouse presence and leadership as additional reasons to bring Fowler to St. Louis.

Reviews were from sports writers and bloggers were definitely mixed.  Some thought the team overpaid (a common complaint from any Cardinal FA signing…remember Matt Holiday in 2009?).  However, others said Fowler was exactly what the Cardinals needed, especially from a clubhouse perspective.

Now that the 2017 season is over, I can say the results were disappointing. Fowler only played in 118 games because of injuries and his offensive stats were disappointing.  The rumored clubhouse issues of the St. Louis Cardinals also continue.

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With that being said, I think it’s time for the Cardinals to move Fowler in a trade for the following reasons:

* Dexter Fowler is thirty-one and not getting any younger.  It’s just my opinion, but I think it’s unlikely the Cards will get many more games out of him than they did this last year. In fact, in the last five years, Dexter has only played over 125 games only once.

*Fowler wasn’t a particularly effective lead off man, and his .264 average eighteen home runs and sixty-four RBI are not exactly what the Cardinals are looking for in a middle of the lineup hitter.

*Fowler is a capable CF, but certainly no Jim Edmonds.  As my compadre, Larry, here at Redbird Rants points out in his recent piece below, Fowler has a negative defensive WAR during his career.

Related Story: Dexter Fowler needs to shift positions

*The rumored team’s clubhouse issues didn’t get a much better during 2017.  Although it’s unfair to blame Dexter for this, his presence didn’t make a much difference.

*The Cardinals have an abundance of young and seemly talented outfielders in the organization that need a chance to play everyday.  Harrison Bader and Magneuris Sierra need more major league experience, not more time in the minors.

*And finally, I’m not ready to give up on Stephen Piscotty.  This year was certainly a step back for the young outfielder, but with family issues, etc., I would like to see what happens next year before giving up on him.

There are teams who could make use of a player like Dexter Fowler and a trade could be made for prospects or a package deal for  either a “big bat” or a pitcher.  The Cards may have to eat some salary, but in my opinion that is worth it to move forward.

The only flaw to this otherwise brilliant plan of mine, is that Dexter Fowler has a full no trade clause in his contract.  However, I don’t think Dexter would stop a trade that he would see beneficial to him.  Also, Dexter is not that connected to St. Louis, such as Brandon Phillips was to Cincinnati.

Next: Possibilities for the bullpen

As mentioned above, my fellow contributor here at Redbird Rants, Larry, has written a counter view of Dexter Fowler.

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