Cubs, Fukudome agree to 4 yr $48M deal

December 11, 2007 at 10:04 pm 11 comments

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The Chicago Cubs made the right move by signing Japanese free agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to a four year deal worth an estimated $48M-$52M. The two sides have reportedly agreed on a four-year deal, but the exact dollar amount was still being worked out. Earlier media reports said that the Cubs were willing to pay the career .305 hitter between $12 million and $14 million per season.

Fukudome will slot nicely into RF and could move over to CF if Felix Pie and Sam Fuld don’t cut it. My ideal lineup would have Fukudome in CF and Murton in RF giving the Cubs two hitters with good patience and plate discipline.

Fukudome is a complete player. He has above average power for a CF but average at best for a COF. He has good speed and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. His plate discipline is very good but he can rack up the strikeouts. He is exactly what the Cubs needed for their lineup. He’s a mixture between Hideki Matsui and David DeJesus in my opinion. I don’t think a season of .280/.360/.480 with 15-20 homers and 10-15 stolen bases is out of the question as a rookie.

Here is what the Cubs lineup could look like:

1. Soriano – LF
2. Pie – CF
3. Lee – 1B
4. Ramirez – 3B
5. Fukudome – RF
6. DeRosa – 2B
7. Soto – C
8. Theriot – SS

Here is what I think it should look like:

1. Soriano – LF
2. Fukudome – CF
3. Lee – 1B
4. Ramirez – 3B
5. Murton – RF
6. DeRosa – 2B
7. Soto – C
8. Cedeno – SS

The San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers were also rumored to have interest in Fukudome, who will likely play right field in Wrigley Field.

“I think we’re all in the same boat,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said earlier Tuesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’re hopeful that the player chooses our place.”

After hitting .351 with 31 homers and 104 RBIs in 2006, Fukudome won the Most Valuable Player award in the Japanese Central League. His 2007 season was limited to 81 games due to an injury that required elbow surgery.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
some info taken from ESPN.com news services

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Tigers May be AL Central Favorites Rowand signs 5 yr $60M deal with Giants

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Aaron Boynton  |  December 11, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Cedeno over Theriot? Surely you jest.

    OH FUKODOME! Is that the newest profane word?

    Reply
  • 2. Charlie Nehl  |  December 11, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    yay!

    Reply
  • 3. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 11, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Theriot is a role player at best. Cedeno needs a chance to play. He has more upside on offense and defense than Theriot. Theriot is a fan favorite so it makes it hard to replace him but he belongs as a back-up, spot starter, pinch runner, defensive replacement. He is highly overrated.

    Reply
  • 4. Erik  |  December 12, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Interesting move by the Cubbies here. Now with their glut of OFers do I smell the Felix Pie, Rich Hill package going to Baltimore for Erik Bedard? Probably not. Fukudome’s best position is RF. I think Murton is a 4th outfielder and Ryan Theriot is a Joe McEwing who can steal and well hit. I think if Pie doesn’t cut it in Center in steps Theriot in CF. I think the Cubs got the right Japanese Import. Kaz Matsui would have been a bomb in Wrigley. Fukudome is a solid player he won’t be Ichiro but he also won’t be Shinjo. He should do fine.

    Reply
  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 12, 2007 at 9:34 am

    I agree about Fukudome. I disagree about Murton though. He is vastly underrated. He is what the Cubs need in that lineup. They have too many free swingers and Murton is another patient bat that can hit .290/.370/.485 with 15-20 homers and 15 stolen bases while playing good defense. Pie should be part of a package for a 2B or SS or pitching.

    Reply
  • 6. Charlie Nehl  |  December 12, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Now that I have some time, i’ll respond with my thoughts and ideas. I think Fokudome is exactly what this team needs. There shouldn’t be any pressure for him to hit homeruns right off the bat with Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez. I REALLY hope they ship off Pie in a deal for Brian Roberts. I think he’s grossly overrated. Sure, he’s really good in the outfield and has a canon, and is really fast, but batting in the low .200’s is not going to keep you on a major league roster, unless your name is Andruw Jones.

    I would then place Fukudome in center, and keep Murton to start in right. I really like Matt Murton, he’s also in a spot where it’s not required that he hits 25 homers because of the big boppers the Cubs already have. You’re spot on about Murton Johnathan. Murton is the most patient hitter the Cubs have. He’s a great contact hitter and I’d see an ideal fit for him in the two hole. Assuming the Roberts progresses I’d have the lineup like this:

    B. Roberts 2nd
    M. Murton RF
    D. Lee 1st
    A. Ramirez 3rd
    K. Fukudome CF
    A. Soriano LF
    G. Soto C
    R. Theriot SS

    Pitcher

    Your super utility is going to be DeRosa this year. It’s unfortunate, but he’s good defensively everywhere he plays. He won’t play everyday, but close giving guys days off. Yeah, I know Soriano batting sixth? He’s not leading off this year. Pinellia has confirmed this. I don’t know where else you’d put him. Maybe flip Murton and Soriano? I don’t know. I know for sure DLee will be 3rd and I don’t think you’d want to bat Fukudome any higher than 4th in his rookie year.

    Time will only tell.

    Reply
  • 7. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 12, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    In your lineup with Roberts I would have it like this:

    1. Soriano – LF
    2. Roberts – 2B
    3. Lee – 1B
    4. Ramirez – 3B
    5. Murton – RF
    6. Fukudome – CF
    7. Soto – C
    8. Cedeno/Theriot – SS

    It’s a pretty good lineup. It can be re-arranged in so many ways and be very good.

    Reply
  • 8. Todd  |  December 14, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Theriot is more of a key player, I think Lou should also make Soriano clean up and Theriot batting first, Lee second then Ramirez, then Soriano, they will score more points that way, but 2008 is our year hopefully and we need a closer, and maybe a good starter with the Big Z

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 14, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    The only way I would have Theriot lead off for me is if his OBP was above .360. It’s not worth it with how little power he has and how littel value on defense he provides from the SS position. I love him as a utility guy that pinch runs and spot starts but not as a 500-550 at-bat guy.

    I like the rotation of the Cubs with Z, Lilly, Hill, and Marquis as a #5. They could use another one though. The pen needs some help too but Marmol can close but I wouldn’t limit him to one inning if I were the Cubs. 2008 may be their year but they have a ways to go still.

    Reply
  • 10. Todd  |  December 14, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Marmol is being traded, its in the works, and whatever happened to Estrada? I thought we tradedfor him?? Rich Hill has to go, Lilly and the Big Z and Marquis which is not consistent, they should start Marmol if they dont trade him, and even Wood, but he dont want a starting job. Then need a strong starting pitcher, Z cant winem all..

    Reply
  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 14, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Why do you think they should trade Hill? Hill is a very good, young, cheap pitcher. Marmol is also very good. What deal is he a part of?

    Reply

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