Saturday, May 21, 2022

MLB rumors: Dexter Fowler headed to Blue Jays camp; Phillies acquire reliever James Norwood from Padres

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is just eight days away, but with the truncated spring training, we’re still seeing some roster shuffling here late in the game. Let’s run down the comings and goings here on March 30. 

Jays to sign Fowler

The Blue Jays are “expected to sign” outfielder Dexter Fowler to a minor-league deal, reports Keegan Matheson of MLB.com

Fowler, 36, tore his ACL in just his seventh game with the Angels last season. It was the fifth and final year of his deal signed with the Cardinals following the 2016 season (the Cardinals traded him to the Angels for 2021). Things just haven’t worked well since that 2016 season for Fowler, when he posted a 4.0 WAR in 125 games and made his only All-Star team, leading off for the World Series champion Cubs

Fowler’s last full season was 2019, when he hit .238/.346/.409 (100 OPS+) with 24 doubles, 19 homers, 67 RBI, 69 runs, eight steals and 1.4 WAR in 150 games. 

Should Fowler make the team, he’ll be in the mix providing outfield depth behind George Springer, Teoscar Hernández and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., along with Raimel Tapia. Some designated hitter at-bats could be available as well, with Alejandro Kirk and Greg Bird possibly also factors there. 

Phillies trade for reliever

The Phillies have acquired relief pitcher James Norwood from the Padres with infielder Kervin Pichardo heading to San Diego in exchange. 

In 28 career appearances, Norwood, a right-hander, has a 3.67 ERA, 1.85 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in 27 innings. Walks have been a major issue for him. He’ll provide bullpen depth for the Phillies. 

Pichardo, 20, appeared in 35 games between Rookie Ball, Class-A and High-A last season, hitting .247/.476/.466. 

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