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Orioles' deal with Dexter Fowler falls through

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The outfielder will play right field for the Orioles, who have been the leading candidate to sign him for weeks.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (2/25): Baltimore's deal with Fowler has apparently fallen through, as the Cubs announced they have re-signed the outfielder to a 1-year deal with a mutual option for 2017. According to a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, negotiations between Fowler and the Orioles broke down because of the team's refusal to give him an opt-out clause after the first season.
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ORIGINAL: The Orioles are in agreement on a 3-year, $35 million deal with Dexter Fowler, as first reported by Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The deal is pending a physical, which history suggests is far from a formality for players signing with Baltimore.

Fowler is the second significant agreement of the week for the Orioles, who also agreed to sign Yovani Gallardo to the exact same contract (3 years, $35 million) on Saturday. Gallardo's deal is now in jeopardy due to concerns about his physical, so it is unclear if Gallardo will in fact join the team.

Fowler joins Adam Jones as the only two sure options in the Orioles' outfield, and will likely be the team's everyday right-fielder despite playing his entire career in center field. Baltimore also has Nolan Reimold, Hyun-soo Kim, Mark Trumbo, Dariel Alvarez and Mark Trumbo in the mix for playing time, with Kim serving as the leading candidate to start in left.

Fowler, 29, was disadvantaged by the number of strong outfield options available on this year's free-agent market, with Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon all signing with clubs looking for outfield help. Fowler was linked to the Giants, White Sox and Rangers throughout the offseason, though the Orioles have emerged as a strong favorite to sign him in the last couple of weeks.

The signing of Fowler is likely the last move (pending what happens with Gallardo) of a busy offseason for the Orioles that saw the team re-sign Darren O'Day (4 years, $31M), Matt Wieters (1 year, $15.8M) and Davis (7 years, $161M) while acquiring Trumbo, Odrisamer Despaigne and Kim. The team also lost Wei-Yin Chen (Marlins), Steve Pearce (Rays) and Gerardo Parra) sign elsewhere.

Fowler spent last season with the Cubs, hitting .250/.346/.411 with 17 home runs in 156 games. The former 14th-round pick has posted a lifetime .267/.363/.418 line with 65 homers and 114 stolen bases in 8 major-league seasons with the Rockies (2008-13), Astros (2014) and Cubs (2015).