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How would the Orioles have done with Dexter Fowler?

How would the Orioles have done with Dexter Fowler?

It was set up to be a great day for the Orioles. First, there was the press conference to officially welcome Yovani Gallardo to the Orioles, and then Dexter Fowler would arrive, take his physical and a day or two later, join Gallardo and his teammates. 

Instead, Feb. 25 turned into one of the more bizarre days in recent Orioles history as Fowler, instead of coming to Orioles camp, suddenly appeared in Chicago Cubs headquarters to re-sign with his old team. 

The Orioles were taken aback by the Fowler affair. It caused a spat between Fowler’s agent, Casey Close, and Dan Duquette, and more importantly, made the Orioles scramble again. 

Two weeks later, the Orioles signed Pedro Alvarez instead, and Mark Trumbo, who was set to be the full-time designated hitter, went to right field. 

RELATED: Hyun Soo Kim has become a fixture in left field 

In postseason accounts of Fowler’s exploits, there are few mentions of his sudden turnabout. The Orioles offer was reported as three years and $33 million while the Cubs gave him $13 million for 2016 with a mutual option for next season. 

Fowler hit .276 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs and had a stellar .393 on-base average. He also stole 13 bases, just six below the Orioles’ team total. 

In the National League Championship Series, Fowler is batting .304 with a home run and three RBIs. 

There was lots of speculation about why Fowler didn’t want to join the Orioles. He didn’t want to play right field because he’d always been a centerfielder. He didn’t want to play in the tough AL East. It was never clear, but if he had played right field and Trumbo had been the DH, the Orioles would, undoubtedly, have been better. 

Fowler’s WAR was 4.2, the best of his career. 

He’ll likely be on the free agent market again this offseason, and if the Cubs don’t re-sign him, he could be a prized catch. 

Don’t expect the Orioles to be among the pursuers. 

MORE ORIOLES: Next season is crucial for J.J. Hardy

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0