Hypothetically Speaking: Would You Trade Kosuke Fukudome for Aaron Rowand?

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2009

This continues the series of hypothetical trades involving players with high salaries that would be consummated during the offseason. To view more of these trades, click here and here.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that the Chicago Cubs have determined that they need to trade the disappointing Kosuke Fukudome in order to acquire a legit center fielder. One of the Cubs' biggest weaknesses this season was that they had no center fielder.

Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, and Fukudome could not get the job done. It's obvious that this needs to change in 2010. For hypothetical purposes, let's assume that Fukudome is willing to waive his full no trade clause in order to get a fresh start elsewhere.

Could the San Francisco Giants be a match for the Cubs? The Giants currently have Aaron Rowand, a gritty player who is a solid hitter and adequate defender. However, Rowand is owed $36 million over the next three years, which is far more than he should be making.

So the deal is on the table: Kosuke Fukudome for Aaron Rowand. Would you do it?

Let's lay out the pros and cons for each side:

Why the Cubs Would Do It

—There are no quality center fielders on the free agent market.
—Rowand is a hard nosed player, who has performed well in Chicago before.

—Rowand is a solid defender (average this year), but still much better than anyone who the Cubs put in center.

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Why the Giants Would Do It

—Fukudome is a solid player (roughly the same offensive player as Rowand and is a very good RF).
—Save money! Fukudome is owed $26.5 million over the next two seasons, which is $10 million less than Rowand.
—Fukudome is only signed through 2011 (one year less than Rowand).
—The Giants' priority needs to be freeing up money to sign Tim Lincecum (and maybe even Matt Cain) to contract extensions...having less money committed in 2012 certainly could help.

Why the Cubs Wouldn't Do It

—Fukudome is a draw and brings a lot of money to the organization.
—Is Rowand on the decline?
—Aaron Rowand is not worth that much money.
—It would be too much money tied up in the future.
—Does Fukudome have more potential than Rowand?

Why the Giants Wouldn't Do It

—If Rowand is gone, who would play center field?
—Rowand is a leader, who would replace him?
—This trade does not guarantee that the Giants would be able to sign Lincecum to a long term deal, is it too risky?

So I'll ask again: would you make this deal? Does this make sense?


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