Cubs Acquire Dexter Fowler

The Chicago Cubs have traded Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily to the Houston Astros for Dexter Fowler.

Nice deal for both sides. The Astros deal away from depth to get an underrated infielder in Valbuena — who reminds me of a younger, more disciplined version of Juan Uribe — and a decent back-end / fill-in starter in Straily. The Cubs fill the gaping hole in center field and at leadoff by obtaining Fowler, who will give Chicago some stability and veteran leadership in a very young outfield.

Fowler has been on the cusp of stardom for the past several years, a toolsy, athletic player who could have a major impact on the Cubs offense in 2015 and beyond. He likely won’t hit for the double-digit homerun power that he did in Colorado, but Fowler’s ability to get on base has improved in nearly every season in MLB — last year, he reached base at a .375 clip. Despite good speed, he hasn’t stolen many bases, but that may be more due to the conservative offensive philosophies of the teams for which he’s played. It will be interesting to see if manager Joe Maddon sets him loose in Chicago — Maddon did, after all, allow Carl Crawford to run wild in his years in Tampa Bay.

I don’t know that the Cubs will be postseason contenders in 2015, but they’re certainly moving that way with the moves they’ve made this winter. If nothing else, they’ll be a team to watch.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. DaveSchneck January 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm
    Time will tell with the Cubbies but they are certainly poised to compete over the next several years. While we keep hearing about how the Mets are taking their time and building a team that can sustain winning, others are doing it as well. I do like what the Mets have done, to a degree, but it is all relative to what the others are doing.

    It will be very interesting in February when the teams go to camp to review each NL team, their progress for 2015, and their positioning to be good for 3 to 5 years. In my unscientific “gut feeling” method, it seems the Mets are still where they have been, anywhere from the 8th to 12th best team in the NL. After “rebuilding” for 5 years, that would be a very poor result. And, with all the young talent, the reason why they won’t rank higher is because of money.