CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/28)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/28)
Next Column >>
Transaction Analysis: ... (07/29)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting ... (07/29)

July 28, 2011

Transaction Analysis

The Next-Best Option

by R.J. Anderson and Kevin Goldstein

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Acquired OF-L Kosuke Fukudome and cash from the Cubs for OF-R Abner Abreu and RHP Carlton Smith. [7/28]
Designate OF-L Travis Buck for assignment. [7/28]

You can’t dog the Indians for trying to go for the gusto, as Peter Gammons reported on Tuesday that they made an effort to acquire Carlos Beltran. An offer to pay the rest of Beltran’s salary and give the Mets a good player might have been enough for New York’s management, but the Indians’ playoff aspirations were not enough for Beltran to waive his no-trade clause. Instead, the Indians had to settle for Fukudome, who is a nice piece, but certainly no Beltran.

Fukudome bats lefty and is proficient in reaching base. His career on-base percentage is .369 for a reason, and it’s largely due to taking a walk in more than 14 percent of his plate appearances. Beyond the free pass, Fukudome’s next-best trait nowadays seems to be hitting singles; his power has seemingly vanished, as he has three home runs so far and is recording an extra-base hit on only 25 percent of his total hits (entering the season his career rate was 36 percent).

Getting on base through singles and walks is fine, but Fukudome is limited in what he can do once he reaches. He has 27 career stolen bases, but on 51 opportunities—or a success rate of 53 percent, well below the acceptable boundary. Fukudome doesn’t take the extra base as often anymore during the run of play, making him something of a base-clogger. He has also seen nearly 90 percent of his plate appearances since 2009 come against right-handed pitching, yet has amassed a line of .263/.373/.413. That isn’t poor by any means; it just demonstrates that Fukudome is not going to light the sky on fire with moonshots.

Fukudome is a tick above average on defense, and has amassed four Fielding Runs Above Average throughout his career. With Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo missing time with injury, no outfield the Indians can produce is their ideal, though a platoon of Fukudome and Austin Kearns down the stretch makes some sense. In the interim, the Indians may choose to play Fukudome in a corner and push Michael Brantley back into center in place of Ezequiel Carrera.

The sum of Fukudome’s parts is a corner outfielder capable of producing 1.5 to 2 Wins Above Replacement Player per season. That isn’t superstar-level production, but it can help you win games. Between the production, the transaction cost (the two prospects and less than $800,000 in salary), and the increased likelihood of making the postseason*, the Indians have to walk away happy with this deal, even if they would have rather made a bigger splash.

One more thing: Some may wonder if Fukudome could bring back a draft pick to the Indians at season’s end; after all, he is projected for Type-B compensation. The problem with that is Fukudome’s contract stipulates his club must extend him by the middle of November or otherwise release him. Unless the Indians can wheel and deal with Fukudome and his agent, it doesn’t seem likely that they will get a draft pick on top of his services.  —R.J. Anderson

*Look for an updated post-season odds report later in the afternoon.

CHICAGO CUBS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Acquired OF-R Abner Abreu and RHP Carlton Smith from the Indians for OF-L Kosuke Fukudome and cash. [7/28]

The Cubs got rid of their easiest-to-trade player by shipping Kosuke Fukodome to Cleveland, and since he's merely a decent rental, I was surprised to see Chicago get more than just a pair of warm bodies in return. Chances are neither of these guys make an impact in the majors, but both at least do a few things to give them a chance.

Abreu was one of my sleepers heading into the 2010 season. I mentioned his impressive power, and he responded with four home runs in 106 games. He's picked up the pace this year, with 12 home runs in 91 games while repeating at High-A Kinston, and combined with 19 stolen bases in 22 attempts, it should be no surprise to hear that he's an impressive athlete. Abreu is also a well below-average hitter with the brutal combination of swinging at everything while rarely making contact. He's not a high-risk/high-reward player as much as he's a high-risk/medium-reward type, but there's some chance of him being more than just a name.

Smith is currently in his seventh minor-league season, but he is missing bats at Triple-A. He's a classic, non-descript fastball/slider reliever, but both pitches are solid, despite his arm angle giving left-handers a very long look. He'll always need to be used carefully in a big-league role. —Kevin Goldstein 

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  Kosuke Fukudome

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/28)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/28)
Next Column >>
Transaction Analysis: ... (07/29)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting ... (07/29)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Playoff Prospectus: Royals Spit Hot Fire: Wo...
Fantasy Freestyle: Projection Season and the...
Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Octo...
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Raising Aces: Ghosts of World Series Past
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game 3 P...
Playoff Prospectus: A Decade of Planning an ...

MORE FROM JULY 28, 2011
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Beltran by the Bay
The BP Broadside: Farewell to the Last Golde...
Premium Article Future Shock: Overrated Contender Trade Chip...
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Relievers for 7/28/11
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Stolen Base Thieves and Wannab...
Premium Article Divide and Conquer, AL West: Deadline Chaos
The BP Wayback Machine: Houston, We Have Bel...

MORE BY R.J. ANDERSON
2011-07-30 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Fister-Furbush Exc...
2011-07-30 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A New Ingredient for t...
2011-07-29 - Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2011-07-28 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Next-Best Option
2011-07-28 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Beltran by the Bay
2011-07-28 - Premium Article Future Shock: Overrated Contender Trade Chip...
2011-07-26 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Reds Trade Gomes,...
More...

MORE TRANSACTION ANALYSIS
2011-07-30 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Fister-Furbush Exc...
2011-07-30 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A New Ingredient for t...
2011-07-29 - Transaction Analysis: A Pocketful of Pence U...
2011-07-28 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Next-Best Option
2011-07-28 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Beltran by the Bay
2011-07-27 - Transaction Analysis: The Rasmus-Jackson Shu...
2011-07-26 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Angel in the Infield
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2011-08-01 - What You Missed: Index to Complete Trade Dea...