Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking: Would You Trade Kosuke Fukudome for Aaron Rowand?

This continues the series of hypothetical trades involving players with high salaries that would be consummated during the offseason. To view more of these trades, click here and here.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that the Cubs have determined that they need to trade the disappointing Kosuke Fukudome in order to acquire a legit center fielder. One of the Cubs' biggest weaknesses this season was that they had no center fielder. Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, and Fukudome could not get the job done. It's obvious that this needs to change in 2010. And for hypothetical purposes, let's assume that Fukudome is willing to waive his full no trade clause in order to get a fresh start elsewhere.

Could the Giants be a match for the Cubs? The Giants currently have Aaron Rowand, a gritty player who is a solid hitter and adequate defender. However, Rowand is owed $36 million over the next three years, which is far more than he should be making.

So the deal is on the table: Kosuke Fukudome for Aaron Rowand....

Would you do it? Let's lay out the pros and cons for each side:

Why the Cubs would do it:

-no quality center fielders on the free agent market
-Rowand is a hard nosed player, who has performed well in Chicago before
-Rowand is a solid defender (average this year), but still much better than anything the Cubs threw out there is center

Why the Giants would do it:

-Fukudome is a solid player (roughly the same offensive player as Rowand and is a very good RF)
-Save money! Fukudome is owed $26.5 million over the next two seasons, which is $10 million less than Rowand.
-Fukudome is only signed through 2011 (one less year than Rowand)
-The Giants' priority needs to be freeing up money to sign Lincecum (and maybe even Cain) to contract extensions...having less money committed in 2012 certainly could help.

Why the Cubs wouldn't do it:

-Fukudome is a draw and brings lots of money to the organization
-Is Rowand on the decline?
-Aaron Rowand is not worth that much money
-Too much money tied up in the future
-Fukudome has more potential than Rowand?

Why the Giants wouldn't do it:

-If Rowand is gone, who would play center?
-Rowand is a leader...who would replace him?
-This trade does not guarantee that the Giants would be able to sign Lincecum to a long term deal (risk?)

So I'll ask again: would you make this deal? Does this make sense...?



Bill said...

If I were the Cubs GM, I'd laugh in Brian Sabean's big dumb face for proposing this. Fukudome is a pretty good player playing out of position, while Rowand is an average player who makes way too much money.

As I noted in writing about the Cubs yesterday, Mike Cameron will be a free agent, and would be a much better fit for the Cubs--and cheaper--than Rowand. I actually think the Cubs will be OK if they maintain the status quo, but if you need a CF, I'd go get Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Fukudome is finally learning how to hit. The Cubs need to stick him in one spot in the line up and keep him there. Also, he's a significantly better fielder than Rowand. If money is the issue, Rowand makes more than Fukudome and has an extra year on his contract. The one good player for the Cubs in the outfield this year has been Fukudome. It would not be smart to try and trade him.

Jorge Says No! said...

I actually agree with you guys. I thought the trade idea was a little far fetched, but given the Cubs CF needs, I thought Rowand might be a interesting option.

Here is my thought on Cameron: how much cheaper exactly will he be? Considering that Cameron will be the only (top flight) centerfielder on the market this offseason, there's a chance that he could become overpaid.

In addition, I think the last thing the Cubs need is another right handed hitter that strikes out a ton and doesn't hit for a high batting average. Sure his defense is fantastic, but I'm just not sure Cameron would be the best fit.

And finally, I'm not sure where this idea that Fukudome is finally learning to hit has come from. Fukudome's stats over the past two seasons are very similar. At this point, Fukudome is what he is: a solid OF, who will hit .260-.275 with mediocre power and has the ability to get on base.

thanks for the comments, guys.