Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel Become Free Agents

It’s been five days since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and they are still making headlines. Center fielder Dexter Fowler and starting pitcher Jason Hammel have both become free agents. I don’t think Fowler or Hammel leaving will affect the Cubs whatsoever, if anything I think the Cubs might be better off. Here is why, starting with, Jason Hammel. Seemed like all season Hammel just didn’t have anything this year. His best stretch of the season was before the All-Star break and even those numbers were not what Joe Maddon wanted. 7-5 record, 17 G, 96.1 IP, 79 H, 38 R, 37 ER, 14 HR, 30 BB, 79 SO, .226 AVG, 1.13 WHIP, 3.46 ERA. You would think there had to be some sort of confidence and consistency issue. Which threw him off his game for the entire season. So, I don’t see any loss there especially with, Mike Montgomery emerging as the Cubs’ new 5th starter. If he performs to Joe’s standards you could possibly see him in the 4th spot moving Lackey to the 5th starting position. Now onto Dexter Fowler, he was a driving force behind this offense it seemed whenever he would leadoff with a hit it would ignite the rest of the lineup. Their record when he did leadoff was visibly a lot better than when he didn’t. With the absence of Fowler in center expect Jason Heyward to move to center field. I also think Joe will stick with Ben Zobrist in right field just to be able to keep Javier Baez in the lineup with his magnificent defensive skills. With the return of Kyle Schwarber, Joe will most likely put him in left field especially with Willson Contreras showing promise of being the Cubs’ every day starting catcher. I think with Fowler and Hammel out of the picture it might make managing a little easier on Joe. He won’t have to make as many decisions and will be able to keep everything a little simpler. Fowler wasn’t much of a power hitter this year his contact was on point for most the season. .276 AVG, 13 HR, 48 RBI’s, 13 SB, .840 OPS, .393 OBP, 84 R, 126 H, 7 3B. He will be hard to replace in the leadoff spot but I think Ben Zobrist will make a good leadoff man with his ability to be consistent and get great contact on the ball almost every single at bat. Fowler and Hammel gone will not affect how good the Cubs will be next season.

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Jason Lambertino @Lambertino_95
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