Cardinals trade Dexter Fowler to the Angels

Dexter Fowler #25 of the St Louis Cardinals - (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
Dexter Fowler #25 of the St Louis Cardinals - (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /

Dexter Fowler is on the move, as he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels late Thursday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals continued to remain aggressive, trading outfielder Dexter Fowler and $12.75 million to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for a player to be named later.

Trading Fowler made sense for the Cardinals, considering that he had no clear path to consistent playing time. The outfield currently consists of Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill and when it became clear he was being squeezed out of the outfield picture, the two sides got together and agreed it was time to move on, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The Angels immediately emerged as an option for Fowler and after back and forth conversations for most of the offseason, were able to land him late Thursday night.

The move, specifically, opens up time for Carlson, the Cardinals’ prized outfield prospect, in right field. After struggling earlier in 2020 and being demoted, he showed flashes of the player president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and the entire front office have been so optimistic about.

It is expected that the Cardinals will continue to survey the outfield market, despite their public commitment to their young outfielders. The names of interest are unclear, but it is likely the team looks to spend more on re-signing Yadier Molina and potentially adding another starting pitcher. But unloading Fowler, even if the team is paying most of his salary, opens up a roster spot and gives the team flexibility for further additions.

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The move also opened up playing time for Lane Thomas and rookie Justin Williams with Bader being cemented as the everyday starting center field. Unloading Fowler, while a move that most did not see coming, made sense for the Cardinals in multiple ways. The ability to get their young outfielders more consistent playing time was key, but the flexibility to improve an already dangerous lineup with Nolan Arenado in town was too good for the front office to pass up.