Braves miss a great chance with Fukudome

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Today, former Indians and Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome signed with the Chicago White Sox, for the low cost of $1 million. When I saw this, I immediately began to think how great of a fit he would have been with the Braves, especially at that price.

The Braves' fourth outfielder right now is Matt Diaz, with Jose Constanza looking to rip that title from him. We all know what each player is at this point in time: Diaz is a platoon bat who is losing his touch for hitting lefties, and Constanza is a speed merchant with no power or plate discipline. Got it. On the other hand, Fukudome is a versatile bat with good plate discipline and average power for a center fielder. He's only a year older than Diaz, and his walk rate is routinely twice what Diaz's normally rests at.

The major difference that Diaz and Constanza have over Fukudome is their batting average. Fukudome is a career .260 hitter, while Diaz (when on) and Constanza can crack .300. But then again, we're in the year 2012, and we should know that getting on base is the overall name of the game, and Fukudome does that better than Diaz. Constanza is a guy who just be a pair of legs if the BABIP bubble bursts (as it did after his miracle run last year), and I'm not sure that's a risk I'm willing to take.

At the end of the day, Frank Wren's trade for Matt Diaz last August continues to haunt the team. He's an inferior player to Fukudome, and he's more than twice as much. Seriously? Feel good stories are all well and good sometimes, but only when they work out well. The Diaz acquisition continues to plague the Braves, nearly six months after it happened. 
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