MLB Trades: The Chicago Cubs Look to Go Younger After Kosuke Fukudome Trade

Steven ElonichCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2011

PITTSBURGH - JULY 08:  Kosuke Fukudome #1 of the Chicago Cubs makes a diving catch in center field against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on July 8, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

After much speculation, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians pulled the trigger on a deal that sent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians for two prospects. Fukudome should be a good asset for Cleveland in their surprising run at the playoffs.

The Cubs will be paying off the contract with the exclusion of $775,000. In return, they receive minor league pitcher Carlton Smith and slugger Abner Abreu from the Tribe.

Neither minor-leaguer is considered a future star of the league, but then again, Kosuke wasn't exactly Triple Crown material.

Smith has a 4.5 ERA and two saves through 34 games this season. The 25-year-old could be future bullpen material for the Cubs if he develops more.

Abreu has a decent mixture of speed and power. On top of his 18 stolen bases, he also boasts 12 home runs, but has a low .244 batting average. He's only 21, so he has time to further his skills, but not much is expected of him.

Fukudome was a disappointment. The Asian sensation was a big power hitter at home, but couldn't find the right way to make the adjustment to the big leagues. He had moments of success, but consistency was his issue.

Tyler Colvin will be recalled to Chicago and should be placed in Fukudome's spot. Chicago is getting younger and is seemingly giving up on this generation's players after three consecutive poor seasons.

The Cubs are expected to continue shopping veteran players on their team. This could be the first of a few trades still to come.