The St. Louis Cardinals announced today, in a press conference at Busch Stadium, that they have signed free-agent center fielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year contract that extends through the 2021 season. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We identified the goal of obtaining a dynamic centerfielder early-on in our planning for 2017," stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "And today we are extremely pleased to announce that Dexter Fowler will be bringing his talents and leadership to the St. Louis Cardinals."
The switch-hitting Fowler, 30, who enjoyed an All-Star season in 2016, owns a career .268 batting mark and a .366 on-base pct. along with 72 triples and 127 stolen bases in nine seasons (1,064 games) with the Colorado Rockies (2008-13), Houston Astros (2014) and Chicago Cubs (2015-16).
Fowler, a native of Atlanta, Ga., was the Rockies 14th round draft selection in 2004. The athletic 6-5, 195-pound Fowler batted .276 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 125 games for the Cubs last season and reached base at a .393 clip while leading off. His leadoff homer in Game 7 at Cleveland last month was the first ever in World Series Game 7 history.
Among active players, Fowler is currently tied with Ichiro Suzuki for 1st in on-base pct. (.367) among leadoff batters (min.500 games) and he's 4th in slugging pct. (.432). His 21 career leadoff homers since 2009 rank 4th in the majors and are tops amongst all switch-hitters during that time span.
Fowler produced four-consecutive seasons with 10 or more triples from 2009-12, leading the National League with 14 three-baggers in 2010 and topping that with a career-high and Rockies' single-season record 15 in 2011.
Fowler has hit six home runs in his 36 career games played at Busch Stadium III while batting .282. His six round-trippers at Busch Stadium are his most amongst all of the ballparks that he has not called home.
Fowler, who will wear uniform no. 25, joins a list of notable former Cubs such as Lou Brock, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Dennis Eckersley, Ryan Theriot and Mark Grudzielanek who later played for the Cardinals.