ST. LOUIS - The Cardinals now have the center fielder they have been looking for.

Frank Cusumano confirmed with a source in the Cardinals organization that Dexter Fowler was headed to St. Louis Thursday night, and would undergo a physical Friday.

Friday morning, the Cardinals made it official. They've signed Fowler to a multi-year contract and he'll wear jersey no. 25.

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Fowler and the Cardinals have been linked since the start of the offseason, but earlier this week, Cusumano said Fowler was not sold on the team.

The options for center fielders began to thin this week as Adam Eaton of the Chicago White Sox was dealt to Washington and Ian Desmond inked a deal with the Colorado Rockies.

Friday morning, Fowler said he chose the Cardinals because he wanted to be on a winning team with a real shot at making it into the World Series.

"You get a taste of the World Series and you want to do it again," he said.

Last season, Fowler posted a career high in on-base percentage with .393 last year with the Chicago Cubs. He collected eight extra-base hits in 17 playoff games including a lead-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reported the deal was for five-years, $82.5 million.

Heyman reported Fowler was offered a 4-year $60 million deal from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, but his camp was looking for a deal worth $18 million per season.