Kosuke Fukudome Entering Final Days As A Cub?


For all the talk of who will not be traded this week–Sean Marshall, Aramis Ramirez, and maybe Carlos Pena–one player rumored to be on the trade market has gone unmentioned in recent weeks. Kosuke Fukudome is in the final year of his four year, $48 million contract that he signed with the Cubs after the 2007 season. It would seem that this will be Fukudome’s final week as a member of the Cubs’ organization. The Cubs have looked to trade Fukudome for the past two seasons, but, it would seem that there has never been greater interest in Fukudome than there is now from contending teams.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that several contending teams have zeroed in on Fukudome and hope to the acquire the Japanese outfielder this week. One of the team that Levine mentions is the Cleveland Indians. The Indians have a need for another bat in their lineup, and their need for an outfielder has increased since centerfielder Grady Sizemore was placed on the disabled list. Fukudome does have a limited trade clause in his contract that allows him to block trades to six teams, but it is unknown if the Indians are one of those teams. Even if they are, do not expect Fukudome to invoke his no trade clause. Come August 1, Fukudome will be owed $4.3 million for the rest of the season, the Cubs may absorb most of that in order to receive better prospects.

For some time now, the expectation was once Fukudome was traded, top prospect Brett Jackson would make his way to the major leagues. That may not be the case now. Because that expectation was generated when Tyler Colvin was still on the major league roster. Of course, Colvin has spent most of the past two months with the Iowa Cubs. Reason being that Colvin had to play everyday, something he was not able to do on the major league roster. But that opportunity would arrive if Fukudome is indeed traded this week. That would create an opening in right field, where Colvin projects to play once he is a full-time starter on the major league roster. However, that does not mean that Jackson will not be with the Cubs sometime in the next two weeks. Fukudome is not the only outfielder the Cubs are shopping. In fact, the Cubs are shopping all three of their starting outfielders with the hope of potentially trading two of them to make room for both Jackson and Colvin.

Despite seeing a drop in batting average over the past month, Fukudome to this point has been able to string together a consistent season. In 84 games this season, Fukudome is hitting .272/.374/.371/.745. The contending teams that are looking to acquire Fukudome this week may be interested in using him in a platoon situation, or even as a fourth outfielder with a defensive upside. Nonetheless, it finally looks like Fukudome will be traded.

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Tags: Brett Jackson Chicago Cubs Clevelnad Indians Kosuke Fukudome Tyler Colvin

  • Ashley Bolton

    I think it is time for Fuke to go, he has had a very good season but the Cubs need long term guys and he is not one of them. The only guy I would really hate to trade would be Marshall, guys like him are so valuable to a team. Anyone else besides Castro and Barney I feel should be fair game.

    I don’t know why Hendry wants to hold onto a Baker or some of these other guys when there is interest in them and we could get prospect back for them. We need to get the youth in and not keep guys who are not in the future plans.

  • Ashley Bolton

    I think it is time for Fuke to go, he has had a very good season but the Cubs need long term guys and he is not one of them. The only guy I would really hate to trade would be Marshall, guys like him are so valuable to a team. Anyone else besides Castro and Barney I feel should be fair game.

    I don’t know why Hendry wants to hold onto a Baker or some of these other guys when there is interest in them and we could get prospect back for them. We need to get the youth in and not keep guys who are not in the future plans.

  • bboliger

    @Ashley Bolton

    I’m not sure you’re going to get much in return for Baker. He’s a utility guy, not a starter. I don’t see anyone giving up much to get him. If that’s the case, I’d keep him, because he’s a nice veteran presence on the bench. You don’t want rookies on the bench because they generally need at bats to contribute.

    Everyone should be available for trades. This team has more holes in it than a block of Wis swiss cheese. If we can fill 2 holes with a trade of 1 player, I’d do it, even if it means trading someone like Garza.

  • Ashley Bolton

    @bboliger @Ashley Bolton Only reason I keep Garza is with how much we gave up for him we are prob not going to get even close to that back.

    garza has also been our best pitcher the last few months. As FOR Baker you are prob right we need some veteran leadership and we prob won’t get much back.

  • bboliger

    @Ashley Bolton

    I’m not sure you’re going to get much in return for Baker. He’s a utility guy, not a starter. I don’t see anyone giving up much to get him. If that’s the case, I’d keep him, because he’s a nice veteran presence on the bench. You don’t want rookies on the bench because they generally need at bats to contribute.

    Everyone should be available for trades. This team has more holes in it than a block of Wis swiss cheese. If we can fill 2 holes with a trade of 1 player, I’d do it, even if it means trading someone like Garza.

  • Ashley Bolton

    @bboliger @Ashley Bolton Only reason I keep Garza is with how much we gave up for him we are prob not going to get even close to that back.

    garza has also been our best pitcher the last few months. As FOR Baker you are prob right we need some veteran leadership and we prob won’t get much back.

  • mixandmatch

    It probably is time for Fuku to go. Hendry should get some good prospects for him if four teams are looking. I hope he gets a standout pitching prospect. Hendry could probably get two prospects for him – a top 50 prospect and a mid-level prospect, because of the interest by multiple teams.

  • mixandmatch

    It probably is time for Fuku to go. Hendry should get some good prospects for him if four teams are looking. I hope he gets a standout pitching prospect. Hendry could probably get two prospects for him – a top 50 prospect and a mid-level prospect, because of the interest by multiple teams.

  • Luke Blaize

    @mixandmatch I can’t see anyone giving up a Top 50 for Fukudome. Top 100, maybe.

    More likely, I see Fukudome pulling a couple of pitching prospects, one who is nearly major league ready but who may not have that high of a ceiling, and another who is much further down in the minors, but has shows signs that he could turn into something special. One of those guys will probably be on that team’s Top 25 list, but not necessarily both.

  • mixandmatch

    Luke, Your view of what the cubs could get for him exceeds my expectations. I hope it works out.

  • Luke Blaize

    @mixandmatch I can’t see anyone giving up a Top 50 for Fukudome. Top 100, maybe.

    More likely, I see Fukudome pulling a couple of pitching prospects, one who is nearly major league ready but who may not have that high of a ceiling, and another who is much further down in the minors, but has shows signs that he could turn into something special. One of those guys will probably be on that team’s Top 25 list, but not necessarily both.

  • Luke Blaize

    @mixandmatch I’m expecting that Fukudome will bring about about the same as Derrek Lee did last year, maybe a little less. In return for Lee, the Cubs got potential reliever who could be in the majors in another year, a left handed starter who has been doing fairly well in A-ball, and a 19 year old pitcher who is now on the Cubs’ Top 25 list.

    None of those guys would be considered a Top 100, but I think there is a chance that Fukudome could go that high if a bidding war breaks out. Unfortunately, I don’t think a bidding war will break out.

  • mixandmatch

    Luke, Your view of what the cubs could get for him exceeds my expectations. I hope it works out.

  • Luke Blaize

    @mixandmatch I’m expecting that Fukudome will bring about about the same as Derrek Lee did last year, maybe a little less. In return for Lee, the Cubs got potential reliever who could be in the majors in another year, a left handed starter who has been doing fairly well in A-ball, and a 19 year old pitcher who is now on the Cubs’ Top 25 list.

    None of those guys would be considered a Top 100, but I think there is a chance that Fukudome could go that high if a bidding war breaks out. Unfortunately, I don’t think a bidding war will break out.