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Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is set to make $13.5 million this season in the last year of the improvident deal he signed three years ago upon coming to the States. With the emergence of Tyler Colvin relegating Fukudome to the Department of Redundancy Department, the Cubs will look to dump Fukudome – who has limited no-trade protection – to save whatever money they can. And according to Bruce Levine, Fukudome is indeed likely to be moved this Winter.

Other rumorey tidbits from Levine (together with my own take):

  • Adam Dunn remains the Cubs’ top priority, but Levine wonders whether the Cubs will have enough money to sign “any” free agent.
  • Carlos Zambrano may be shopped, but he isn’t going anywhere.
  • The Cubs are unlikely to trade Marlon Byrd, even if Brett Jackson emerges as ready to go early next year.
  • The Cubs might consider Orlando Hudson for second base, and Marlon Byrd is a big Hudson supporter.
  • Cliff Lee, as expected, is going to be out of the Cubs’ price range.
  • There’s “always a chance” that the Cubs will try to bring Kerry Wood back.
  • rylan

    If we do go after Hudson, would that push Dewitt into a utility role? Do we really need another middle infielder? I’m fine with Blake and second base…I dont see any pressing need to get Hudson in the system.

    • Ace

      We could still use Blake as a utility guy if Jeff Baker is non-tendered.

  • Willis

    I’m ok with Blake as well. Wouldn’t be opposed to Hudson, but I would rather any $$ be put toward a big middle of the order bat or a starting pitcher.

  • Kenny

    What about getting rid of the Fuks for whatever as long as we free up some cap space, get Colvin at first base and see if Jackson is ready and let him play right field. instead of wasting money on Adam Dunn which I think in the long run is just going to end up another old guy the Cubs sign and doesn’t perform for them.

  • KB

    Trading Fuk doesn’t make sense. To trade, you need a trading partner…who in their right mind would pay 13.5 million bucks for a mid-thirties guy with Fuk’s severe limitations?

    That’s correct…nobody. Sure, we could PAY somebody to take him (or eat 10 million or more to shed him) but that’s not a trade, it’s a salary dump.

    • BT

      KB, what are Fuk’s “severe limitations”? He doesn’t have 30 HR power? We knew that when we signed him.

      You know, if Hendry hadn’t signed Fuk, you would be slobbering all over yourself to get him. All you ever do is preach OBP, and how Hendry is a moron for not respecting it, then you turn around and say a guy like Fuk, whose OBP would put him nearly in the top 20 in all of baseball, is completely worthless.

      I’m not saying he is worth 13 million, and I’m not saying he hasn’t been somewhat of a disappointment, but my guess is that someone out there would pay 8-10 million for a decent fielding, left hander who can hit between 15-20 home runs while sporting an OBP above .370.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        Exactly. I wish more people would see Fukudome’s skills.

      • KB

        BT, I agree that Fuk is better than Colvin, but let’s face it, that ain’t saying much.
        Are you implying that Fuk DOESN’T have limitations?
        I was merely pointing out his trade value…picture a player who will be 34 this upcoming season. At what age do players usually fall off a cliff?

        Is there a robust market for guys with below average power (for a RFer), limited speed, decent but declining defensive skills, a penchant for playing terribly in August, September and October, and with a $13.5 million dollar contract?

        Perhaps you’re right, and we’ll have to fend off an avalanche of pleading offers, but I’m guessing that this won’t be the case.

        • Ace

          I can’t see a team being willing to pay more than $5 million for Fukudome’s services in 2011.

        • BT

          I’m not saying the Cubs will be overwhelmed by offers for Fuk, I’m saying 2 things. He is a LOT more valuable than you give him credit for, and he seemingly comes from the “KB ideally built hitter” factory. If there is one guy on planet Earth that should be singing his praises, it’s YOU. According to you Colvin sucks because he can’t take a walk. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be great if we could sign a RF who does get on base? Oh wait, he’s already on the team, and according to you he also sucks, because all he does is get on base. It’s fine if you dismiss Colvin’s power because you are an OBP freak, but you can’t then dismiss Fuk. He should be your guy.

          As far as Fuk’s “proclivities” go, if I’m reading the stats correctly, his post all star OPS is equal to or better than his pre all star numbers. He has had one bad second half in 3 years.

          We could do better than Fuk in RF, but we could also do worse than putting in a guy who can hit 15 HR and get on base 37 percent of the time. Ace might be right that we could only get 5 million for him, and money seems to be tight right now for a lot of teams, but don’t be surprised if we get more. And there is certainly no reason to dump him.

          • KB

            BT, I think we’re arguing different points. I’m down on Fuk for the same reason that I’m down on Soriano…it’s not that either totally sucks (and I never said they did). It’s that you could reasonable expect to pay around % million total for 2 OFers with similar production, yet the Cubs will be dishing out $30 million instead.

            • KB

              That is, prolly 5-8 mil. And as you said, Fuk is currently more valuable than Colvin. However, Colvin is entering his prime years (25-27), and Fuk is leaving his declining years (early 30’s) and entering into free-fall age.

              Hey, I admit I’m crying about spilt milk. Since Fuk is a sunk cost, I don’t care if he stays or goes.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Wood’s option was not picked up by the Yankees.

    • Ace

      No surprise there – it was $11 million.

  • art

    they’ve been trying to trade Fukudome all year. we’d pay most of Fukudome’s money, we don’t need Hudson, Blake is not the future, Jackson would play CF, Byrd would move to RF, I’d try Colvin at 1B. Hank has a one tract mind with the Fukudome/Colvin thing. Colvin hasn’t proven he’s an everyday player, he may be another Ankiel. don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for him and Jackson. I’d still trade Fukudome but I’d have plan B, C just in case. as for people who say Jackson is a year away, those same people thought Castro was 2 years away and Colvin wasn’t even in the Cubs future last spring.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Hudson plays great D and could lead off.

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