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Dexter Fowler Rejects Qualifying Offer

This is no surprise.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, Dexter Fowler has rejected the Cubs’ qualifying offer and is now officially a free agent. Here’s the summary via MLB Trade Rumors:

Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler will reject the team’s one-year, $17.2MM qualifying offer, writes FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman (he also previously tweeted the news). Fowler has been widely expected to do just that despite the problems he faced after rejecting a QO from Chicago last winter, as he even said himself recently on ESPN’s Sportscenter that he would be a free agent again this offseason.

This, of course, doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t re-sign him, and they have expressed interest in doing so. So have quite a number of other teams. Fowler had a very good season in 2016, despite missing 37 games due to various injuries, and has a reputation as a great clubhouse guy.

There are, I believe, good arguments on either side of keeping Fowler. Keeping him would mean the Cubs would retain his clubhouse presence as well as an excellent bat at the top of the lineup. Letting him go would open up a spot for Albert Almora Jr. or perhaps an outside acquisition, and allow the organization to move forward.

Would you keep him? I’d make every effort to do so. But perhaps you disagree. Let us know in the comments.