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Steve Davis: Hard To Fault Orioles On Fowler Situation

It was certainly an odd week of contract negotiations with the Orioles, considering the Gallardo and Fowler situations.

I think it's hard to criticize the Orioles on Fowler ending up in Chicago. Yeah, I know, Fowler's agent Casey Close wants you to believe that the Orioles and the media are responsible for this.  What about him?  His client turned down a one year $15.8 million dollar offer to stay in Chicago. Then, he turns down a 3 year, $33 million guarantee from the Orioles to accept what will be either a one year $13 million deal ($8 million salary, $5 million buyout) or two year $17 million deal ($8 million first year, $9 million second year option). Close chose to castigate the Orioles and the media. What about his liability in this debacle?  He didn't do his client right. And, among the many questions I would have for him, when the media was reporting the 3 year, $33 million deal, where was he to dispel this?

Adam Jones told the Baltimore media Wednesday morning that he had spoken to Fowler already, and expressed how excited Fowler was.  If Jones speaks to the media before 9 in the morning, and Fowler was in Arizona, that means they must have spoken Tuesday. So why did Fowler think he was coming to Baltimore?  When those quotations from Jones were out Wednesday, at that point, Close could have certainly got out, either directly, or through sources, that Fowler didn't have a deal.  Plus, he should have made it clear to his client there was no deal, not even close. Oh yeah, one more thing, how could there be any misunderstanding that the Orioles wouldn't do a one year opt-out. Number one, Duquette is on the record with his opposition to that. Number two, there's no way they would do it and run the risk of losing a player after one year when they have to give up a first round pick to do it.

My point is, while Close would have you believe the Orioles blew this, he might want to look in a mirror.

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