We already knew that the Chicago Cubs had talked to the Boston Red Sox about outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, but it seems that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to Dave Kaplan:
Several baseball sources have confirmed to me that the Chicago Cubs have been extremely active in trying to move Kosuke Fukudome to open up regular playing time for rookie Tyler Colvin. Fukudome is owed approximately 8 million dollars for the remainder of this season and an additional 14 million for 2011.
My sources tell me that Cubs GM Jim Hendry has offered to pick up the bulk of the remaining dollars on the 2010 commitment and half of the money in 2011 but so far has found no takers for the under performing right fielder.
That’s a hefty sum to be picking up with no takers to speak of. Fukudome is owed nearly $14 million next year, so it’s hard to imagine the Cubs having to eat much more than $7 million of that in order to move him. It is possible that what has actually held things up are the Cubs’ demands on the other side of the trade.
Of course, if the Cubs are going to eat that much of Fukudome’s contract, I do believe it’s fair to expect at least a decent prospect in return. And make no mistake, if the Cubs dump Fukudome – which, given his limited role, they should – they absolutely should do so for prospect(s). There is no need to try to find a current Major Leaguer to “fix” the 2010 Cubs. I’m not saying this team is beyond repair, but whatever the Cubs need, they aren’t going to get it in return for Fukudome. Take the prospect(s) and run.