- “Look for Fowler to go bye-bye.” — Bo.
- “Fowler will be dangled and few would be surprised to see him change uniforms.” –Devin.
- Dexter Fowler “is most responsible for the Astros’ improvement since May 1”. –oldpro.
With the possible exception of Jose Altuve, only a 28-year-old outfielder with a .270 career batting average may have more value to the Astros. The question: How do you assess that value?
Is he more value wearing another uniform or spending the next 2-3 years in the Astros’ outfield? The answer to that question may depend on how Jeff Luhnow and his statistical gurus assess the up and coming talent at Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City.
There are pros and cons to extending Fowler and there may not be a right answer.
Here are some reasons to keep him in an Astros’ uniform, at least through this season.
- Other than Altuve, he is the most constant and most consistent player in the lineup.
- He provides some veteran stability in a mostly 25-and-under lineup.
- He leads the team in walks, OBP and runs scored and that would be hard to replace.
- The Astros have reached a level of respectability. Taking away one of the key players would set the team back. At least in the near term.
- There are no obvious immediate replacements. At least not at this moment.
- Fowler at the top of the lineup has made it possible for others to hit in their natural spots in the lineup.
- Houston needs some stability for the next 2-3 years. You know what you have in Fowler. The prospects are just that. Prospects.
- Trading Fowler now would leave only one sure thing in the outfield.
And, a few reasons to move him next month.
- How many prospects is he blocking soon or in the next year? Domingo Santana, Preston Tucker, Austin Wates? Delino DeShields Jr. next season? Time to make room for the future.
- He is keeping George Springer from his natural position. It’s time to put the future pieces of the puzzle where they belong.
- Fowler could bring a haul or prospects or near-MLB-ready talent from a contender looking for a fleet-footed, high OBP leadoff hitter either next month or this winter.
- Packaging Fowler with a pitching prospect could provide an upgrade on the major league roster at either catcher or shortstop.
- Entering his last year of arbitration, Fowler likely will earn more than $10 million next season before hitting his free agent season in 2016. The money may be better spent on the bullpen or an extension for players like Springer or Jarred Cosart.
- He’s been steady for the Astros, but Fowler isn’t worth the $$ he’ll command in the off season. Perfect time to move him.
And, a few curious questions that have nothing to do with Mr. Fowler.
- Why do players take less $$ than their slot in the draft? Do they really want to help the organization?
- Does anyone really — really — believe that Gregorio Petit, a 29-year-old career minor leaguer has played nearly 1,100 games in the minors, can actually start and contribute for the Astros?
- What are the chances that Mark Appel is a Phil Nevin-like bust?
- Will the potentially significant injury affect Carlos Correa‘s ranking as the Astros’ #1 prospect?
- Speaking of prospects, where do you place Brady Aiken, Derek Fisher or A.J. Reed on the top prospects list?