Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Eggs: Safe. Basket: Secure.
2007-12-11 19:52
by Derek Smart

For the third winter in a row, Jim Hendry made one player the crux of his offseason plans, and it appears that for the second consecutive year, he's delivered his man. According to various radio sources (Dave Kaplan at WGN seems to be getting credit for the scoop - hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the notice on the airwave info), and a parroted report on ESPN, Kosuke Fukudome will be a Cub for the next four years. Robothal also has confirmation.

Talk all you want about the risk in signing a man who's never seen a day in the Majors to a four year deal worth approximately $50M, but if the Cubs were going to have a shot at getting better in 2008, at competing beyond the NL Central, at getting off the mat in the playoffs, this was the guy they had to have - a left handed hitter who, while his power might not translate, has an excellent shot at giving the club the dose of OBP they so sorely need. And, hey, there's some speed and defense tossed in, just for kicks.

We'll see how I feel mid-summer, let alone in 2011, but right now - much like last year with the Soriano signing - I can't help but smile.

2007-12-11 20:20:02
1.   Ken Arneson
I guess this means Matt Murton is now trade bait?
2007-12-11 21:04:18
2.   Gagne55
The Griddle better have a picture puzzle version of this signing.
2007-12-11 21:05:34
3.   Bob Timmermann
I hope the Padres can find someone to play the outfield.

Or else they will give up a lot of triples.

2007-12-12 04:41:31
4.   Derek Smart
1 I think that's been part of the plan all along, particularly with the rumored Brian Roberts deal, which I'd imagine Murton would be a part of (along with quite a bit more stuff to be named later, I suppose).

Murton does a nice job getting on base, and he has some solid power potential, but he plays lousy defense, isn't fast, and hits a ton - I mean a freakin' ton - of groundballs, which could turn into a half-ton of double-plays, if he ever hit in a spot in the lineup where he could expect to have men on first ahead of him. Point is, because of all that, despite his potential in other areas, I think the club views him as expendable, and if he can contribute to making something else good happen in a deal, they'll use him for that in a heartbeat.

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