The Houston Astros had reportedly made a commitment to "spend some money" during the offseason, and on Tuesday they did just that by acquiring Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler and a player to be named later.
Fowler, 27, spent six seasons in the Colorado outfield and is a career .270 hitter. In 2013, he batted .263 with 12 home runs while serving as a speedy lead-off man and swiping 19 bases. Owed $7.35 million for the second year of the contract he's under, Fowler will also be an Astro in 2015 for his final arbitration year before free agency.
According to MLB.com, that will make him the highest-paid player on the rebuilding team.
"We've been working on it for more than a few days now, and I think it really fits with our offseason strategy," Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said. "We want to focus on pitching, but we want to be able to bring in an offensive catalyst, and I think this type of player for us is ideal. ... It's a pretty exciting overall package for us."
Fowler himself said he was "very excited" about the news of the trade and the opportunity to play in Houston.
"The Rockies drafted me, so I'm definitely thankful they took that chance so I could get my career started," he said. "Getting traded, you can always look at it like it's a new beginning, and I'm excited about the team Houston has and the young guys, and I'm excited to get started."
Meanwhile, Colorado will add 23-year-old pitcher Jordan Lyles, who's looking to build on his consistency, to the rotation. In 27 games for Houston, Lyles went 7-9 with one save and a 5.59 ERA. Overall, he is 14-29/5.35.
Also coming to the Rox is outfielder Brandon Barnes, said to be a fan favorite in Houston. During his rookie season this year, Barnes hit .240 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. He spent time in all three outfield spots and will join the likes of Carlos Gonzales and Michael Cuddyer at Coors Field.