Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pencil him in: 福留 孝介

Kosuke Fukudome (福留 孝介) will be in the Cubs outfield for the next 4 years. Whether or not Fukudome winds up being a succesful player with the Cubs, this is a historic date in the history of the Cubs franchise. Fukudome is the Cubs first big Free Agent signing from Japan. The first time the Cubs have made a splash with a star Japanese player.

According to Paul Sullivan: terms of this contact are believed to be between $48 and $50 million over the 4 years.

The Daily Herald's Bruce Miles takes us deep into the Cubs war room at Clark and Addison and abroad:

Last year, the Cubs hired former pitcher Steve Wilson to be their Pacific Rim scout. Wilson and several members of the Cubs' front office watched Fukudome play many times this season, and they came away impressed enough to make him the Cubs' No. 1 off-season target.

Hendry credited Wilson, along with assistant GM Randy Bush and scouting advisers Gary Hughes and Paul Weaver.

"Gary Hughes has loved him since 2004," Hendry said. "This was a collaborative effort involving outstanding talent evaluators."

Also this morning in the Herald, Barry Rozner had an interesting quote from a bitter sourrce in San Diego:

Said a San Diego source Tuesday night, "Let's put it this way: If the Cubs want him, they'll get him. There's no amount of money they can't spend, and teams like the Padres and White Sox can't say that. So if the Cubs want him, the Padres can't stop them."

Rozner also add's that Hendry and the Tribune enjoy spending the next owners money:

It's not my money. It's not your money. It's not Jim Hendry's money. It's not even the Cubs' money.

It's the next owner that will foot these bills for a long time.

Sure, in time you're going to pay at the box office, but right now it's all about the glory of ending a gory, 99-year drought.

But these contracts are going to be around long after anyone negotiating them has departed the organization, when people begin to realize that some of these deals were irresponsible.

Like most of you I don't really care for the contract terms. As Rozner points out: It's not my money! All of that being said, what I know about Fukudome comes from YouTube and reading online scouting reports. I don't expect Fukudome to be a star for the Cubs, just a solid left handed stick that will ease some of the pressure on the right handed heavy Cubs lineup.

One thing I will hand to Jim Hendry is after getting beat out for Furcal two wintes back over the last two offseasons the Cubs have achieved their 'Plan A'. Now we awit their next move (maybe a former team president will be involved in this deal).

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