No, not really. But that’s a hard headline to pass up.
The Union-Tribune is reporting that the Padres have lost out on Fukudome.
The Padres found out Tuesday night that they lost out in their bid for Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. The star outfielder is headed to the Cubs.
The Padres, rating Fukudome as the prime piece to their offseason plans, bid more than $10 million per season as part of a guarantee of at least three years. It was the most the club had offered a non-Padre since tendering a $55 million to $60 million proposal nine years ago to pitcher Kevin Brown, who chose to accept more than $100 million from the Dodgers.
While it would have been nice to have Fukudome, I’m almost relieved we didn’t get him. His centerfielding ability got a less than stellar review from Trey Hillman and his offensive ability does not project to be a player that would warrant the money the team was offering him. And considering we don’t know if he’ll be Hideki or Kaz, we may have just dodged a bullet.
Of course, we still have a hole in center and the options left on the market are dwindling. With that in mind, I propose three options the team could look into:
Yes, he’ll be suspended for the first month. And he usually takes a month to get his swing going, so he’ll be worthless until June. But he knows this team and he knows this ballpark and we know what we’ll be getting from him. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t type of deal. Not to suggest that Cameron is the/a devil, but you get the idea.
That, and he’s got style.
Hollywood Jim could be a classic turnaround story. He’s already on the team’s radar and if he’s as healthy as he says he is, why not? If he bounces back to an average player by his standards, he’ll still be a middle of the lineup guy.
I really can’t back this up (because I can’t find the link) but I recall reading Fuson or one of those guys say that Antonelli is such a gifted athlete that he might be able to handle center. Since second is such an easy position to fill, why don’t we at least find out?
Melvin Nieves to the Rescue: Tom Krasovic special from June, 2006:
The Padres are intrigued about his potential in center field. Antonelli’s foot speed, Fuson said, warrants a 70 on a scouting scale that tops out at 80, and center field is a thin position within the system.
I have a feeling this is a reference to a scouting report published elsewhere. I also haven’t heard anything about Antonelli in center more recently. I think it could make sense, but it’s quite the impossible call to make without much working knowledge of the guy.
We tend to hang our hats on these throwaway sentences without any background a bit too much, in my opinion.
Melvin’s unhelpfully vague suggestion:
Corner Power Guy / All D No Bat Guy
Grab a Willy Taveras type in center, then make up the power and obp loss in left. This might mean Chase Headley or Kevin Kouzmanoff, or it could involve dealing Headley for someone like Jason Bay.
You hate to trade the young, homegrown Headley, so signing Geoff Jenkins might make sense as a backup plan. Headley could spell Jenkins, Giles, and Kouzmanoff if he is even deemed ready for the bigs.