Fowler receives qualifying offer from Cubs

Chicago will get Draft pick if outfielder declines 1-year deal and signs elsewhere

Fowler receives qualifying offer from Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Cubs extended a qualifying offer of a one-year, $15.8 million contract to free agent Dexter Fowler on Friday. The deadline for teams to do so was 4 p.m. CT.

By making the offer, the Cubs guaranteed themselves a compensation Draft pick should Fowler sign elsewhere this offseason. No player has accepted a qualifying offer since the system was established three years ago.

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Teams can extend the qualifying offer to free agents who spent the entire season with the club, and the player then has one week to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. The amount was determined by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous season.

Fowler made $9.5 million in his first season with the Cubs, and he set career highs in runs (102), hits (149), home runs (17), walks (84) and games played (156).

The Cubs did not extend qualifying offers to the other free agents who had been with the team the full season, which included infielder Jonathan Herrera, outfielder Chris Denorfia, and pitcher Jason Motte.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.