Indians Trade For Cubs Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome

The Chicago Cubs' Kosuke Fukudome has been sent to the Cleveland Indians for two prospects.

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Cubs-Indians Trade: Carlton Smith And Abner Abreu To Cubs For Kosuke Fukudome

The Cleveland Indians, whose outfield has been decimated by injuries to Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, traded for Kosuke Fukudome on Thursday. In exchange, they sent two ... young players. I know the headline reads "prospects," but that was just to get you in the door. You've been duped.

The two players are 25-year-old right-handed pitcher Carlton Smith, and 21-year-old right-handed outfielder Abner Abreu. According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, Smith is going to be a six-year minor-league free agent after the season if he isn't put on the 40-man roster. Here are his stats from Baseball Reference:


Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
2005 19 Burlington APPY Rk 4.76 9 9 28.1 30 16 15 3 5 25
2006 20 Lake County SALL A 4.09 11 11 55.0 49 27 25 4 24 38
2007 21 Lake County SALL A 4.22 31 18 121.2 125 67 57 13 33 79
2008 22 Kinston CARL A+ 4.37 26 26 146.1 143 91 71 12 33 81
2009 23 Akron EL AA 2.72 37 2 79.1 68 36 24 5 23 40
2010 24 2 Teams 2 Lgs AAA-AA 5.40 46 0 58.1 72 39 35 7 23 38
2010 24 Akron EL AA 0.87 9 0 10.1 6 3 1 0 3 8
2010 24 Columbus IL AAA 6.38 37 0 48.0 66 36 34 7 20 30
2011 25 Columbus IL AAA 4.50 34 0 46.0 45 25 23 4 20 46
7 Seasons 4.21 194 66 535.0 532 301 250 48 161 347
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2011.

It's hard to see him pitching well enough to make that 40-man, but the Cubs probably had interest in him as a free agent after the year, so a little preview over the next couple of months wasn't going to hurt.

Abner Abreu is the centerpiece of the deal, then. He still has youth on his side, and he shows some decent power and speed.


2007 17 Indians DOSL FRk 56 228 69 13 7 4 41 5 4 18 46 .303 .353 .474 .827
2008 18 Indians GULF Rk 51 199 50 16 4 11 37 4 1 9 52 .251 .289 .538 .827
2009 19 Lake County SALL A 63 246 75 16 4 7 30 3 3 11 68 .305 .351 .488 .839
2010 20 Kinston CARL A+ 106 409 103 21 6 4 58 11 2 20 130 .252 .289 .362 .651
2011 21 Kinston CARL A+ 91 336 82 16 5 12 35 19 3 22 102 .244 .294 .429 .723
5 Seasons 367 1418 379 82 26 38 201 42 13 80 398 .267 .311 .442 .754
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2011.

He's played 64 games in right field this year, but he also played 24 in center. Fukudome is a useful-enough player, so it fits that his return was one interesting-enough prospect.


Cubs' Kosuke Fukudome Trade To Indians Nearly Complete

Multiple tweets this morning — almost too many to quote here — have all but confirmed that Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome will be traded to the Cleveland Indians, with the deal possibly done before the Cubs’ game time this afternoon in Milwaukee.’s Jon Heyman has most of the necessary details:

theres agreement on fukudome to #indians, w/ just logistics to go. #cubs paying vast majority of fuku’s $5M. #tradedeadline

The Cubs will receive two prospects from Cleveland, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer beat Writer Paul Hoynes:

#Indians prospects going to Cubs for Fukudome include one pitcher, one position player.

Hoynes further reported that the prospects would be “one upper level, one lower level”. Meanwhile,’s Carrie Muskat tweets:

If Fukudome is dealt, Tyler Colvin could be called up to #Cubs

The Cubs have an afternoon game in Milwaukee Thursday; the Indians have the day off before beginning a series at home Friday against the Royals. Stay with this StoryStream for further information on this trade which appears to be nearly complete.


MLB Trade Rumors: Indians In 'Serious Talks' For Kosuke Fukudome

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Thursday morning a rumor about the Cubs’ Kosuke Fukudome:

Sources: #Indians in serious talks to get #Cubs’ Fukudome. #tradedeadline #MLB

There had been some interest in Fukudome from other teams, including the Giants, but with San Francisco about to finalize its deal to acquire the MetsCarlos Beltran, it would seem that Cleveland would be Fukudome’s most likely landing spot.

Fukudome was signed to a four-year, $48 million deal by the Cubs before the 2008 season and had been pursued by (and offered larger deals by) other teams, including the White Sox and Padres, largely based on his power numbers in Japan. He’s been a disappointment in that area since he came to MLB, with a career high of 13 HR (last year) and 58 RBI (in 2008).

Fukudome does have good plate discipline; he has a career OBP of .369 and this year, his on-base number stands at .374. He plays good defense in right field and would help the Tribe, who are desperate for outfield help, quite a bit in their quest for the AL Central title.

The Cubs might have to eat much of Fukudome’s deal, but he is in the last year of the contract, so the money isn’t that large, and a mid-range prospect would probably be asked for in return.


MLB Trade Rumors: Kosuke Fukudome Drawing Interest From Indians

With teams looking for outfield help in the days before the 2011 MLB trade deadline, virtually anyone with even a scintilla of a chance of helping a team will be throw into trade rumors. The Chicago Cubs' Kosuke Fukudome is one such player: reportedly, multiple contenders are looking to deal for Fukudome, despite his underwhelming year so far.

The Cleveland Indians are one of the teams in on Fukudome, and their interest is likely in shoring up an outfield that has been hampered by Grady Sizemore's injuries. Fukudome likely won't solve the Indians' lack of pop in the outfield (Sizemore is the only Indians outfielder slugging more than .400), given his anemic .371 slugging percentage, Fukudome gets on base and plays passable defense — though less passable in 2011 — and could be rented cheaply if the Cubs pick up some of the money remaining on his contract.

The Indians are just a game and a half back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

For more on the Cubs and Indians, visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and Let's Go Tribe.

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