MLB Rumors: Blue Jays In Pursuit Of Dexter Fowler To Replace Jose Bautista

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The Toronto Blue Jays could lose Jose Bautista this winter, and they’re reportedly trying to replace him with one of the best free-agent outfielders on the market.

The Jays are “showing a strong interest” in signing former Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Tuesday, citing sources. Toronto seems to have all but given up on retaining Bautista, and the Cubs might be expecting Fowler to leave, too, after agreeing to a reported one-year, $8 million contract with Jon Jay.

Of course, the Blue Jays won’t be the only team vying for Fowler’s services — he batted .276 with an .840 OPS, 13 home runs and 48 RBIs — and he’d likely have to be willing to play in one of the corner outfield positions if he heads to the Great White North. Toronto already has one of the best defensive center fielders in Major League Baseball in Kevin Pillar.

Toronto reportedly is looking to retain one of its free agents this offseason, too, and that’s first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion’s agent told TSN’s Rick Westhead on Tuesday that he expects the 33-year-old to sign somewhere later this week or early next week and that the Blue Jays are “showing Edwin the most love.”

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images

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