You’ll have to excuse this quick post, but I just picked up on this tweet from Jerry Crasnick.
The Giants and Cubs discussed a Rowand-for-Fukudome trade, said a BB source. A classic bad-contract, change-of-scenery deal.
Discussed can mean a lot of things, but it’s heartening to know that there’s a possibility that the Giants might try move dead weight, otherwise known as Aaron Rowand. On the surface, Fukudome would be an excellent fit for the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team.
Points in favor for Fukudome…
* He’s the perfect platoon-mate for Cody Ross. While Ross has roughly been a league average hitter against RHP in his career (93 wRC+), Fukudome has shown an ability to hit RHP (111 wRC+) at a better than average rate. Ross has mashed LHP (146 wRC+) over his career while Fukudome has struggled (85 wRC+) against them. It seems like a perfect match.
* Fukudome is an adept outfielder capable of playing an above-average corner outfield spot. He’s logged 2,813.2 career innings in RF with good results. Over that time, UZR has pegged him as a +5.7 run defender per 150 defensive games. Plus/minus has him at +9 defensive runs saved — keep in mind that’s total playing time, not pro-rated like the UZR/150 — and the Fan Scouting Reports like him. Even if the team was playing against a LHP, Fukudome would probably see some late inning defensive playing time if someone like Burrell was playing. In that regard, he’s like a Nate Schierholtz that can actually hit. I’ll take two. He fits the defensive profile for what kind of outfielder the Giants should be looking for.
* He’s patient — Fukudome sports a career walk-rate of 14.7% — and the Giants are still a hacker-ish team. For example, career walk-rates of a projected starting lineup:
LF – Burrell (14.3%)
CF – Torres (8.7%)
RF – Ross (6.7%)
3B – Sandoval (7.3%)
SS – Tejada (6.2%)
2B – Sanchez (4.9%)
1B – Huff (8.3%)
C – Posey (6.5%)
I think we’ll seen an increase in Posey’s walk-rate as he adjusts to the majors, but most of team has had below-average (league walk-rates tend to hover around 8%) career walk-rates. Fukudome brings a skill to the table that’s painfully deficient on the current roster.
Salaries and prospects aside, if the Giants could swap Rowand for Fukudome, it might be the biggest upgrade of the offseason.