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“At least four teams are zeroing in on” Kosuke Fukudome

Jul 25, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Kosuke Fukudome

Kosuke Fukudome‘s four-year, $48 million contract comes to an end in 60 games, but it sounds like the disappointing outfielder may not be in Chicago when that happens.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that “at least four teams are zeroing in on” Fukudome as a trade target and presumably even Cubs general manager Jim Hendry can see clearly enough through his rose-colored glasses to get whatever value he can out of him.

Chicago hasn’t gotten what it paid for in Fukudome, whose post-April fades, inability to hit left-handed pitching, and lack of power combined to make him much less of an impact player than expected, but as a platoon corner outfielder he’s still plenty useful and has posted a .369 on-base percentage in 511 games.

Levine speculates that the Indians are one of the teams interested in Fukudome, whose contract gives him the ability to block a trade to six undisclosed teams. Assuming the Cubs are willing to pay most of the $4 million or so he’s still owed in order to get even a mid-level prospect, Fukudome is a smart target for contenders looking to add a solid bat versus right-handed pitching without giving up a ton.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Is it four major league teams?

  2. 78mu - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    post-April fades, inability to hit left-handed pitching, and lack of power

    So I’m guessing you didn’t pick him first in your fantasy draft.

  3. APBA Guy - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    The .369 OBP is valuable, as is the overall .744 OPS, which would be 3rd on the A’s only .025 behind leader Jemile Weeks. The OBP would be first.

    Clearly $ 12M is too much, but as you say, he’s a useful part, with reasonable defense also.

    However, he is also 34. So my guess is the 4 teams looking at him are contenders who will be looking at him as a rental.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    1) What is the difference beteen “zeroing in” and “nibbling”?
    2) I bet that the Cubs started this rumor themselves in order to generate some interest.

  5. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 25, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Bluejays should get this guy, they need help in the outfield, he’s cheap, isnt real good and would be comfortable playing in front of crowds that consist of proudly and 2 of his friends. I see a win win here

  6. hoopmatch - Jul 25, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    My strongest Fukudome memory is of an unauthorized T-shirt someone sold during his first year with Cubs. Harry Carey glasses on an Asian-looking Cub along with the words “Horry Kow.”

    And it’s still for sale on this web site:

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