SARASOTA, Fla. – Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said he was "very surprised" to walk into the clubhouse Thursday and find out that Dexter Fowler was remaining with the Chicago Cubs, especially since a conversation Jones had with Fowler earlier in the week gave him every impression he was joining the Orioles.
"We are moving on, we've moved on, he's moved on," Jones said before Friday's spring training workout in Sarasota. "We got a big day ahead of us today. It's a game of adjustments, you move on. … I love the guys that we have here in-house, I think we have a terrific team. So, cool. I think that by him not agreeing to it, it opened up money at the All-Star break or at the deadline. And it gives other guys in here a chance. So it's not that you're outsourcing. It gives guys that are already in this clubhouse an opportunity."
Jones said Wednesday morning that Fowler told him he was "excited" to be joining the Orioles and added "he should be on his way [to Sarasota] now." It was widely reported on Tuesday evening – and confirmed to The Sun by a high-level team source – that Fowler had agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the Orioles pending a physical.
Instead, Fowler made a surprise appearance at the Cubs camp in Arizona on Thursday morning. He signed a one-year, $8 million deal to remain with the Cubs. The deal – which includes a $9 million second-year mutual option and a $5 million buyout -- will guarantee him $13 million and could be worth up to $17 million. Fowler will make $2.6 less from the Cubs than he would have earned had he accepted the team's $15.8 million qualifying offer.
"I've never been in that predicament," Jones said of Fowler taking less money. "At the end of the day, he's happy where he's at, that's the most important thing. It's his career. It's not mine. My career is here. He's happy where he's at, and at the end of the day, I just want to face them."
Still, Jones said he was surprised to hear Fowler was going elsewhere.
"I came in here and then I found out and was like, 'OK,'" Jones said. "There wasn't nothing much I could do. I could cry about it but it's not going to do nothing for us. At the end of the day, he's happy where he's at. His family is happy in Chicago, so good for him."
Jones said he spoke with Fowler again on Thursday after Fowler officially joined the Cubs. He said the conversation was "great" and he didn't need any apology.
"No, I don't care," Jones said. "It's not my fault. It's not up to me. He's happy where he's at. That's all that matters. He's happy, and as a friend of his, if he's happy I'm happy."