Kosuke Fukudome is a free agent and appears to be among the best hitters on the free agent market. Most notable, he has posted an OBP well over .400 the last three years, and a slugging percentage of over .600 (less last year, as he was operated on to remove bone chips in his elbow). He is an outfielder, but could play third. As a bonus, good Japanese players put butts in seats and brings tourist dollars to SF. This is a player that we would not have to trade pitching for, leaving some for other purposes. He is 30, so is sign-able for a number of years without expecting a significant decline. He is a left handed batter, who reportedly has "doubles power", not a bad thing at The Phone, especially combined with a good OBP. Get him. Ganbari, Sabean-san, onegai shimasu.
Fuko does look like a perfect fit. Well, I suppose it is 'Fuku,' but I'm not going there. How does he "project?" If we look at Hideki Matsui's numbers in Japan, and then for the Yanks, can we extrapolate for Fuko? If we get .280/.370/.550, that is head and shoulders above any of our current crop. Hell, a line of .270/.350/.500 says "clean-up hitter" with our offensively deficient crew.
The Giants never seem too keen on Japanese players (Shinjo is pretty much it)even though it seems like a great PR move. I'm not so sure this guy wants to play third....and we sure have enough OFers.There is a Japanese pitcher that we are rumored to be after. If we get him does that mean we trade a pitcher for sure??What we should do: Lowry to Reds for Encarcion or VottoWhat we will do: get Rolen or Tejada via trade, or pick up Andruw Jones
"Sabean said that a couple of fresh trade options arose, resulting from "side discussions" after a meeting of Major League general managers. One of them is believed to be for Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge, who could become expendable pending the Tigers' imminent acquisition of Florida's Miguel Cabrera. Inge, 30, hit .236 with 14 homers and 71 RBIs last season."This is from the Giants MLB page. Let's see, replace Pedro Feliz with . . . Pedro Feliz.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071204&content_id=2317548&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf&partnered=rss_sf
This from the San Jose Merc's Andrew Baggarly (12/5) speaking of the possiblity of having Kevin Frandsen play 3rd next year, "That would leave second base open for Ray Durham, whom the Giants aren't ready to quit on yet - especially since he's entering a contract year. A member of the Giants medical staff will travel from Nashville to Charlotte after the winter meetings to check on Durham's conditioning.'I don't think he's done as a baseball player,' Sabean said of Durham."So time for a quick look back at Durham, who, just for those who don't care to read much, sucked last year. It is my belief (putting aside the unsigned free agents) that the team's hopes rested on Durham having AT LEAST his 2006 season, Feliz improving, and Aurilia having one of his good seasons. More on these other chumps later.I like Ray. I think his defense is adequate, and was really positive on him as 2006 closed by the way he was hitting a lot of line drives into the gap. Here are his stats for the last 4 years (avg/obp/slg/hr):2004 .282/.364/.484/17 2005 .290/.356/.429/122006 .293/.360/.538/262007 .213/.295/.353/11The home runs seem like a sawtooth, but the the other stats seem fairly consistent, improving in 2006. The point is that the Giants needed this kind of production again, or better, from Durham to have any hope of being in the chase. But 2007 was a different story. Ray is now 36. When you look at stats from Bill James and elsewhere, the peak productivity years for baseball players tend to be about age 26 or 27 or 28. Not 36. You would have to conclude that 2006 is more the anomaly, not 2007. So a reasonable projection for a 2008 Ray would probably be more like:.285/.350/.425, 15 hr. I'm probably being generous. This is not about conditioning, it is about a reasonable expectation of putting enough offense on the field to compete.
.242 .319 .382That's the ZiPS projection for the 36-yr old Ray. Look here for the details.
That is ugly. I was apparently more generous than I thought. Another ugly note from just above Durham's ZiPS line, in the line for a fellow named Aurilia: 79 games. Ugh. Why is he on our team again? Oh, that's right, quotability.
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