While Jim Hendry has made numerous comments that have had several Chicago Cubs fans a bit nervous that the team might stand pat, it appears that they have finally begun dealing. Buster Olney is reporting this morning that third year right fielder Kosuke Fukudome has been dealt to the Cleveland Indians in what appears to be largely merely a way to clear some roster space.
While most fans knew that if the Cubs were actually going to be doing some wheeling and dealing that it would largely be with the intent of dumping salary but this latest move shows just how difficult that make actually be when it comes to some of the team's higher paid busts.
Fukudome was originally brought in to fill a big hole in right field that was left by the departure of Sammy Sosa several years ago. Since Sosa, the Cubs have tried a plethora of different players including Jeremy Burnitz, Jacque Jones and Milton Bradley in the position with mixed results at best. Kosuke is a notorious fast starter to the season posting .338/.448/.557 over his career in April. Fukudome is also notorious for fading precipitously after the season's first month.
While reports say that the Cubs are getting two prospects in return for the Japanese import, names have not been mentioned as the deal is still technically being finalized. Also according to Olney, the Cubs will still be picking up more than half of the $4.7 million the outfielder is owed for the remainder of this season. Fukudome will be a free agent at the end of this year.