Friday, February 17, 2012

Kosuke Fukudome Finds a home with the Chicago White Sox

Earlier this week Kosuke Fukudome signed with the Chicago White Sox.  It seemed to be a move that not a whole lot of people saw coming, but in hindsight makes a lot of sense.  Kosuke won't be making much money, $500,000 (just over league minimum), but I'm sure he's still living well off of the contract he signed with the Cubs.  It's a major league deal so it's very likely he will be with the team coming out of spring training. It also has a team option for 2013 worth $3.5 million with a $500,000 buyout if they choose not to retain him after this year.  It actually seems like a pretty unique contract, I don't remember seeing any others with so little pay (relatively) for the first year with an option worth so much more for the second year.  I'm sure most people's first thoughts were that the White Sox have no intention of picking up his option even if he meets expectations for this year.

The Sox should be a good fit for Kosuke as their outfield is a bit of a crapshoot right now.  They ended last year with Alex Rios and a couple of prospects as their main outfielders.  The White Sox are pretty high on those prospects, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, but Viciedo in particular is still very young and neither has proven themselves yet at the Major League level.  So though Kosuke is projected as a fourth outfielder heading into the season he will likely be getting a few starts and maybe an opportunity will emerge for him to be an every-day player again in the Majors.

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