Yesterday was bananas, today was more like…carrots. There was only one major trade to talk about and it occurred when the Chicago Cubs sent underachieving rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome (pronounced Fuk-oo-dum-eh, people have been mispronouncing it forever and it bugs me) to the Clevelands along with an undisclosed amount of cash (rumoured to be about $4-million) for two minor leaguers in outfielder Abner Abreu and righty reliever Carlton Smith.
The deal is one of necessity for Cleveland who are without outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore; both are on the DL. The Cubs are paying all but $775,000 of Fukudome’s salary for the remainder of the year so there isn’t much financial risk to the club and neither player going the other way is expected to be an impact player. Fukudome will likely end up being a Type-B free agent, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be offered arbitration considering the team would be risking him accepting it, putting them on the hook for a raise on his $13.5-million salary for this year; something no one in their right mind would pay Fukudome on the open market.
Fukudome won’t hit for much power and is a liability defensively, but he gets on base consistently by drawing a ton of walks and hey, he’s better than Travis Buck who the team designated for assignment.
It’s worth noting as well that Fukudome had to waive a no-trade clause to come to Cleveland. Then again, who would want to stay on the North Side right about now?
For the Cubs, this allows them to get something, however small it might be, in return for Fukudome who would not have been back next year regardless. It also open up a spot in the outfield for younger options such as Tyler Colvin and Tony Campana.