The Chicago Cubs traded Kosuke Fukudome to the Cleveland Indians for prospect pitcher Carlton Smith and OF Abner Abreu. The Cubs will reportedly pay 3.9 million of the 4.6 million left on Fukudome’s contract. In a corresponding move the Cubs have recalled Tyler Colvin to Chicago.
The Cubs have been rumored to have a deal in place with the Indians for a week now but the Indians wanted to see what Beltran and Rasmus were doing before they pulled the trigger. The Cubs were also given two choices in the deal; to pay the majority of the contract and receive their pick of two players off a list given to them by the Indians or to pay none of the contract and take a PTBNL in the deal. The Cubs made the right decision.
Carlton Smith is a 25 year old righty who has pitched both in the bullpen and rotation. Smith has 7 minor league seasons under his belt and has never spent time in the majors. In those 7 seasons he has a 36-28 record with a 4.21 ERA. He has pitched a total of 535 innings, gave up 532 hits, and struck out 347. He by no means is a guy who will miss a lot of bats but could be projected to join the bullpen for the Cubs sometime this season.
Abner Abreu is considered the prize in the deal according to scouts. Even though Abreu is projected as an outfielder he is more of an athlete having played OF, SS, 2B, and 3rd in his young minor league career. Abreu is only 21 years old and needs some polishing before he becomes anything too special. In 5 seasons he traveled from rookie ball to high A ball before his 21st birthday. In 5 seasons he has hit .267 with 38 homers 42 SB and a .311 OBP. He has a very high ceiling and could be something really special by the time he is 25.
In the end the Cubs got exactly what they wanted in a trade for Fukudome; SOMETHING! The market for Fukudome was petty weak and I was even hearing teams like the Brewers wanted the Cubs to pay most of his contract and get a PTBNL in return so all in all this was a good move for Jim Hendry. Fukudome has been a solid baseball player for the Cubs. He has played stellar defense in RF, showed what it is like to have plate discipline, and played hard all the time. The fact is Fukudome is not worth the contract he signed and this should be a learning experience for the Cubs and all of baseball that stats don’t always translate. I am just glad the Cubs got two solid young guys for a guy with only 13 RBIs this season. In the end I give this trade a B. What do you think?
Until Next Time…