Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…Toronto Blue Jays

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Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…Chicago Cubs by Eric Huysman

Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…San Francisco Giants by Jason Burke

Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…New York Mets by Thomas O’Banion

Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…Tampa Bay Rays by Ryan Gonzalez

This is part 5 of the “Trade Dexter Fowler to…” series.

Perhaps by the end of this barrage of posts, Dexter Fowler will have actually been traded.

I’m a pretty big fan of Dexter Fowler, but from the moment it was announced last offseason that he had been acquired from the Colorado Rockies for Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes, I was pretty certain he wasn’t part of Jeff Luhnow’s long-term plans.

After the acquisition of Evan Gattis yesterday, the Houston Astros are ostensibly in a position to use Fowler just as they had probably planned about a year ago: as trade bait to fill some holes.

In my opinion, the Toronto Blue Jays are the most likely suitors. Let’s take a look at their outfield depth chart, and play a little game of “which one of these is not like the others?”

LF: Michael Saunders (acquired from Seattle Mariners this offseason for J.A. Happ)

CF: Dalton Pompey

RF: Jose Bautista

In left and right, they have proven Major League talent. But losing Melky Cabrera to free agency left a gaping hole in the outfield. Free agent Colby Rasmus could re-sign with Toronto, but reports have Baltimore making a strong push to gain his services. Pompey has played in 17 career games. He’s a promising prospect, but he’s only just gotten his feet wet at the highest level. Kevin Pillar has shown decent talent in a limited role as a fourth outfielder, but for a team that purports to taking that next step in the AL East, he’s not exactly the type of player to hang one’s hat on.

Enter Jeff Luhnow and an offer the Toronto Blue Jays can’t refuse.

By offering something they desperately need, a solid center (or as our friends to the North, call it, centre) fielder who can cover the spacious and goofy Rogers Centre outfield turf, Luhnow may be able to force Toronto’s hand and get more back than he might deserve for Fowler’s value.

Based on that assumption, here is my trade scenario:

Houston Astros get:

SP Drew Hutchison

Toronto Blue Jays get:

OF Dexter Fowler

Hutchison is projected as Toronto’s #4 starter, but he’s got serious upside. With the departure of Foltynewicz yesterday, the Houston Astros are left to fill the fifth spot in their rotation with Brad Peacock or maybe Alex White. Luhnow would much rather fill that slot with somebody with Hutchison’s credentials.

Hutchison is technically still a prospect, but has a low to mid-90s fastball which he complements with a solid offspeed arsenal, most notably a slider. You can read a more detailed scouting report here.

He’s on a Tommy John rebound right now, but in his first full Major League season last year, he went 11-13, but finished 8th in the American League with 184 strikeouts. So that’s promising, I guess. So is his ~3:1 K/BB ratio. The 4.48 ERA, to me, is just a product of youth. Remember when Dallas Keuchel had an ERA that high?

This looks like a win-win trade. The Houston Astros get that solid back end of the rotation guy they’re looking for, and the Toronto Blue Jays get that proven centerfielder they so desperately need.

It makes a lot of sense to me, but hey, I’m no GM. Let me know your thoughts on this potential trade in the comments below.

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