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Eggs: Safe. Basket: Secure.
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.