Kosuke For Daisuke Being Discussed


One of the Chicago Cubs primary objectives this winter is to trade Kosuke Fukudome and the remaining $13.5MM on his contract for the 2011 season. According to Phil Rogers (Via Digital Sports Daily), the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are in discussions about a trade that would send Fukudome to the Red Sox in exchange for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Rogers also mentioned that, it would probably be a multi-player trade.

For the most part, the Contracts of Fukudome and Matsuzaka are fairly similar. Kosuke has one year remaining on his deal worth $13.5MM, while Matsuzaka has two years remaining on his contract at $10MM per each year. So, the teams would have to find a way to agree on who is paying what? Which, should not be that big of an issue.

Fukudome, at this point, is really nothing but a reserved outfielder for the Chicago Cubs. His offensive skills leave much to be desired as in his first three years since coming over from Japan he has a line of .259/.368/.410 while only averaging about 12 home runs each season. However Fukudome did have a career year in OPS this season with .810, and is a very good defensive outfielder. If Boston uses Fukudome as role player, or a situational player, Fukudome would probably be a good fit with the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, Matsuzaka may be the Red Sox’s version of Fukudome. When, the Red Sox signed him in 2007, they envisioned him as one day being their top starter. However, up to this point, he is at best a mid-rotation starter. In 4 seasons with the Red Sox, Matsuzaka has consummated a 46-27 record with an ERA of 4.18, and a WHIP of 1.39. His best season was his sophomore year in 2008, when he went 18-3 with an ERA of 2.90.  Typically, Matsuzaka would be capable of pitching a lot of innings, if he would only limit the amount of walks he gives up. The key to his success is not walking a lot of hitters, thus giving him the capabilities to go deep into games every time he pitches.

I think Matsuzaka would be a good fit with the Chicago Cubs. While he may not be as experienced, his career numbers are similar to those of Ted Lilly’s when he first came to the Cubs. And, in his time with the Cubs, Lilly became one of the best pitchers in the National League. Also, Matsuzaka would probably improve under the tutelage of pitching coach Larry Rothschild , and you have to remember that Daisuke is moving from the tough American League East to the mediocre National League Central.

While nothing is imminent between the two sides, you have to think that as we get closer to the winter meetings the two sides will be able to work something out.