In light of the fanpost earlier discussing Sweet Lou's interview in the New York Daily News, i'm a little perplexed about our CF position next year. I wanted to open a debate in regards to Edmonds and Fukudome, and the pros and cons of each helping to fill this position.
Kosuke Fukudome had so much promise before the start of 2008, and Opening Day only fueled the fire that started a first half love affair with Cubs fans everywhere. Admittedly, I was a big a Fukudome fan as anybody-I ordered the jersey shirt with Japanese lettering, I'm embaressed to say that I wore the headband in front of the TV, and I started using terms like "fukudouble" and "fukudiving catch". That being said, I have strong doubts that he will succeed as a hitter at the major league level, and here's why:
He came from the Central League with very strong credentials-a former MVP who hit .300 for his career and was a 25-30 homer a year guy. A player with his experience and work ethic definitely would've made the necessary adjustments throughout the 4-month second half drought he endured, leading me to believe that MLB pitchers are just better than those of the Central League. Next year, .260 with 8-12 HR's is about what I'm expecting from him, keeping in mind he had a high OBP due to a large number of walks and pitchers will be less apt to walk him until he proves he can consistently hurt pitchers who pound the strike zone.
Jim Edmonds is 38 years old, and I certainly understand the question in resigning him. But, if the organization is ready to give up on Felix Pie as it seems right now, I'd honestly feel better with an Edmonds/Johnson plattoon that worked so well this year as opposed to a "fukuplattoon" and letting Jimmy walk.
Now the question that poses itself is what to do with Kosuke's $36 million that's owed to him. Look, we all know the guy is a solid defensive outfielder, and he wouldn't be a horrible pinch hitter. I would certainly like to see him as a late inning defensive replacement for Hoppy in LF, or even for the power bat we are hopefully going to get in RF. Sadly, I just have my doubts that this guy is a bonafide everyday Major League player. The Cubs have certainly signed worse deals in the years, so to use him as a role player for 3 years wouldn't be tragic
So, what do you guys think? Do you agree with me that Edmonds/Johnson should be the plattoon as opposed to Fukudome/Johnson? Or maybe even a Johnson/Pie plattoon?