Fowler (pictured above) was a World Series Champion in 2016 with the, Chicago Cubs

There are some reports coming out saying that the Dexter Fowler camp is expecting a contract with an AAV of $18 million. Sound crazy? That’s because it is… or is it? There are plenty of players in baseball that are being paid a ridiculous amount of money, but almost all of them are being overpaid. Living up to a contract is a hard thing to do, so let’s take a look at the production Fowler would have to put up for him to live up to a $18 million/year contract.

The price of a win is more expensive than one may think. In 2002, Major League teams paid about $2.6 million per win. In 2016, a staggering $8 million per win. Now, what does all of this mean? There is a sabermetric stat called “WAR” (Wins above replacement) that measures (essentially) how many wins a player is worth. Last year alone, Dexter Fowler posted a 4.7 WAR and was worth $37.5 million. Is Fowler a $37.5 million player? Hell no, but if we go by market values alone then he was. As I stated before, most players are being overpaid. I am going to use Albert Pujols as an example:

In 2016, Albert Pujols had a fWar (Fangraphs) of 0.9. Do you think his salary was $7.2 million? Well, if you did you’re wrong. Pujols earned a ridiculous $25 million and was almost a replacement level player. Baseball is full of bad contracts, but this was just one example.

Fowler is entering his age 31 season, we can only assume his career will begin to trend downward within the coming seasons. Since Fowler would need to put up a WAR of 2.3, it shouldn’t be TOO hard to live up to an $18 million/ year contract. Then again, Fowler has only posted a fWAR this high in three big league seasons, AND he is getting older so this could mean a large drop in production. I look at his 2013 season with the Rockies as something we should expect out of him in these next few years:

12 home runs, 42 RBI, 71 runs scored, 19 stolen bases, an OPS of .776, and a wRC+ of 103 (3 points above the major league average). His WAR that year? 2.2. Going off what I said before, does this look like the offensive output of a player making $18 million a year? No, but he would technically be playing like one.

I would assume that Fowler and his camp are looking for a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract. Realistically, he may have to settle for 5-years, $80 million. (Same contract as Mike Leake, *sigh*…)

Since Fowler has been linked to the Cardinals, which may be more fan driven speculation than anything else, that is why I dug these figures up. The Cardinals are a very smart organization with much more knowledge than me. If I can figure out that Fowler isn’t worth the money he’s asking for, so can the Cardinals; and we know the Cardinals HATE to overpay. Except for, Mike Leake…*sigh again*. I highly doubt St. Louis is going to be the landing place for Dexter Fowler. Expect a team like Washington or San Francisco to overpay for him.

The Cardinals have glaring holes in their roster, but the last thing they need to do is overpay in a year where the free agent market is lackluster at best. Whatever happens, I trust in the Cardinals to make the correct decision (Trade for Kevin Kiermaier, cough)

2017 is going to be a fun season.

Thanks for reading.