From the Chronicle:
Talk among Japanese media representatives is that the Giants are seriously interested in corner outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, 30.
If the Giants had
to make a splash in free agency, I suppose this could be less financial risk than a five-year deal to Andruw Jones. And it would leave Torii Hunter out of the picture, which is definitely a plus.
Here are Fukudome's career stats. I love that he's been an on-base machine. But while the Giants could certainly use a 30-homer corner outfielder, 30 homers in Japan doesn't necessarily mean 30 homers in MLB. Here's the transition of a statistically similar player:
Final year in Japan: .305/.365/.549, 33 HR, 36 2B, 587 at-bats
Career in MLB: .272/.325/.387, 17 HR, 77 2B, 1380 at-bats
Sure, Kaz Matsui's value was more batting average dependent than Fukudome's, but the power numbers are eerily similar. Matsui went from 30-homer power to Vizquel power. Just because Matsui had a power outage doesn't mean that Fukudome would. They could have totally different frames and swings; I'm certainly not a scout. But it would be a disaster if Fukudome didn't hit for power in a Giants uniform. Not to mention, Fukudome is a left-handed hitter, and Mays Field wouldn't exactly help him out.
Three-years, $24M? Take a chance.
Long-term deal after a bidding war, at the $10M price John Shea mentions? I'd rather have Andruw Jones.