It’s a buyer’s market for outfielders: Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, and B.J. Upton headline a star-studded 2013 free agent class. The Phillies need a center fielder, but may not have the financial flexibility — or stomach — to commit the amount of years and cash that a top-flight free agent, or even Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera, and, yes, Shane Victorino will demand.
The trade market is thin, but not completely barren; Dexter Fowler stands out as a somewhat intriguing name that could be available this winter. A 14th-round pick of the Rockies in 2004, Fowler was once one of the top prospects in baseball, hailed as a five-tool talent (although his power was questionable) and a star in the making who just needed to put it all together after a few eye-popping seasons in the minors. He hasn’t quite reached stardom — in fact, he hasn’t come anywhere close — and the shine has worn off considerably since then, but he quietly put together his most impressive campaign to date last season, notching 13 home runs, 72 runs scored, 53 RBI, 12 SB, a .300 batting average, and a stellar .389 on-base percentage. It sometimes feels like he’s been around for a decade, but Fowler will be just 27 come April 2013 (he was first called up at the tender age of 22). Continue reading