By Rob Rains
The Cardinals swung another surprising trade on Thursday night, sending outfielder Dexter Fowler to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later or cash.
Fowler had a no-trade clause in his contract so he had to agree to the deal, which reunites him with his former manager on the Cubs, Joe Maddon, who now is the manager of the Angels.
At least one media outlet, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, reported that the Cardinals will be paying the bulk of Fowler’s $16.5 million salary for this season, the last year of the five-year contract he signed with the Cardinals as a free agent.
“We are extremely grateful for everything that Dexter has done for us over the past four years, both on the field and with his generous work in the community,” said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, in the press release announcing the trade. “With the expectation that we will have plenty of competition in the outfield this season, and with Dexter’s approaching free agency, we felt that this deal made the most sense for all parties.”
The trade came three days after the Cardinals acquired third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Rockies. Fowler and Arenado were once teammates in Colorado and earlier Thursday the Cardinals posted a picture on their official Twitter account of Fowler and Arenado together with the heading “reunited.”
The Angels had been in the market for a corner outfielder.
Fowler had been expected to begin the season as the Cardinals’ regular right fielder.They could now move rookie Dylan Carlson, who had been projected to start in left field, to right and play either Tyler O’Neill or Lane Thomas in left or perha;s trade for another outfielder or sign a free agent.
In the press conference with Arenado on Tuesday, Mozeliak had hinted that some more possible moves might be coming saying, “We might not be done” with just two weeks left before the team’s pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for the start of spring training.
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Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports