More Thoughts on Kosuke Fukudome

The Kosuke Fukudome discussion has continued over the last few days, seeing some really great insights from Rooftop View's Jack Nugent and Another Cubs Blog's mb21.

In reassessing Kosuke's, mb21 took us on a brilliant stroll through the recent history. He rightly observes Fukudome has not only been decently valuable, but also that 'Dome was signed on the precipice of the Great Recession:

Fukudome was signed following the 2007 season and the value of the win was $4.1 million that season. At that time it was expected that the value would increase by 10% each year. However, that's not what happened. The economy finally caught up to baseball in some regards. The value of the win only increased by 7% to $4.5 million in 2008. It was then $4.4 million in 2008, 2009 and then again in 2010. The value of the win has not increased in recent years as it was expected to. That matters because Fukudome was signed with the thinking that it would indeed continue to increase.
Ultimately, he concludes we got almost what we paid for:
Fukudome's career OPS is .778. He was paid to be roughly an .800 OPS hitter. He hasn't reached that, but is it really worth all the bitching and moaning that the fans have been doing? I guess the fans feel ripped off. They looked at his numbers and thought they'd carry over to MLB. Nobody in their right mind actually thought that would happen though.
Meanwhile, Jack took some time to engage the normative process, asking: "What should we do?" He asserts it's best to trade 'Dome:
Unless the Cubs instead sell the Padres on a package including Marlon Byrd for Adrian Gonzalez, effectively freeing up centerfield in the process, I think the Cubs have no choice but to try and find a taker for Fukudome. The fact is, the potential savings mean more to this team than his performance would, and while he has his uses, the other big contracts the Cubs have on the books right now are essentially immovable objects. And since Tyler Colvin has to play pretty much all the time at this point in his career, there just doesn’t appear to be room for [Kosuke Fukudome] on the roster right now.
Though it may seem contradictory to my previous post, I tend to agree with Jack's perspective. I would definitely prefer trading Marlon Byrd for Adrian Gonzalez, but I find that less likely than finding a buyer for Kosuke.

At the same time, I don't want to see Kosuke leave for just peanuts. That would be lame. The purpose of my previous post was -- more than anything -- to assert Kosuke Fukudome had some good value. I worry too many people, namely fans, forget that fact.

A big thanks to mb21 and Jack for joining in the discussion in the comments section and on their blogs! Keep the good stuff coming, guys!

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  1. Thanks for the shout Brad. Glad you liked the post. I liked what you had to say about Kosuke too-- you're right to point out that he clearly deserves a shot with someone. I just think the Cubs are facing circumstances that dictate that the Cubs just have to trade him.

    And just to clarify the Byrd for Adrian Gonzalez speculation-- Byrd just be part of a big and valuable proposed package for Gonzalez. On his own, he's something like a $15-20MM asset on his own, so while he certainly isn't enough on his own, he'd be a nice headliner in a package including some good minor league talent.

  2. No problem, Jack! Thanks for participating in the discussion.

    And yes, I didn't really clarify that above, but Byrd would need to be part of a bigger package. Byrd for Gonzo straight up = highway robbery.