With the Giants losing their everyday left fielder Angel Pagan to free agency there are already dreams of a power hitting outfielder in the mold of Yoenis Cespedes or J.D. Martinez, and the rumors for both have blossomed. However, due to the cost for both, in terms of money for Cespedes and prospects for Martinez, an under-the-radar perfect fit for the Giants, that matches their speed and defense with gap power ideal is Dexter Fowler.
There was interest last year, as he was a fit for the centerfield/leftfield position, and the rumors swirled when he attended the Golden State Warriors game and sat courtside with his financial advisor. However, as we know he flirted with a deal with the Orioles, only to re-sign with the Cubs and go on to break the curse and bring Chicago’s Northside its first championship in over 100 years.
His season and post season as the sparkplug in Chicago only increased his value, as even Joe Maddon noted “as he goes we go.” While batting leadoff for the Cubs Fowler hit .273 with a .393 OBP and a .447 Slugging %, sprinkling 13 HRs and 25 doubles along with 13 stolen bases while playing a mostly adequate center field. His value to the Giants is that he is a switch hitter who hits lefties best and adds speed and defense to the lineup.
Although his centerfield defense is simply passable, with the move to left it may have the opportunity to change to spectacular, and his versatility gives the Giants the option to play him at all three outfield positions. The one big drawback to a signing is the draft pick compensation tied to Fowler after declining his qualifying offer; something the Giants shied away from for years before last year’s Samardzija signing.
The competition should be fairly strong with his versatility and the amount of teams interested in outfield help. Overall, I can see a deal getting done as the Giants love players who can hit the gaps of AT&T and can provide speed and defense, and he would not break the bank in either prospects or money.