Cubs may have to move Kosuke Fukudome before diving into free agency

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Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Cubs will be in the market for a power-hitting first baseman this offseason and may even be in the mix for Adam Dunn, but could be pretty limited financially unless they can unload Kosuke Fukudome’s contract:

The Cubs might need to trade Kosuke Fukudome before making an offer for any prominent free agent, though it will be difficult to find a trade partner without taking another overpaid player in return. Hendry did that with Milton Bradley last offseason, paving the way for the signing of center fielder Marlon Byrd.

Obviously swapping Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva worked out brilliantly for the Cubs last offseason, as Silva went 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts while Bradley hit .205 with a .641 OPS in 73 games for the Mariners, but the problem with making a similar swap involving Fukudome is that it won’t actually free up much money to pursue someone like Dunn.

By trading Fukudome the Cubs would clear a spot in the lineup for a good-hitting first baseman, but Sullivan questions “whether the Cubs can accommodate Dunn’s salary” and obviously no teams will be willing to swallow the $13.5 million Fukudome is owed in 2011.

In some respects Fukudome has gotten a bad rap because expectations were pretty high when he signed with the Cubs and his annual post-April fades have been frustrating, but he has hit .259/.368/.410 in three seasons. He’d be useful to a lot of teams as a platoon starter against right-handed pitching, but the question is how much of that $13.5 million the Cubs are willing to eat to move him.

The Cubs might need to trade Kosuke Fukudome before making an offer for any prominent free agent, though it will be difficult to find a trade partner without taking another overpaid player in return. Hendry did that with Milton Bradley last offseason, paving the way for the signing of center fielder Marlon Byrd.

Dr. Lorena Martin accuses members of Mariners’ front office of making bigoted comments

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Dr. Lorena Martin, recently let go as the Mariners’ director of high performance, is accusing members of the front office of making racist comments against foreign-born players. In her Instagram post, Martin wrote:

The Mariners organization has major issues.

The things I’ve witnessed and heard first hand have left me shocked. How can their GM Jerry DiPoto, Manager Scott Servais, and Director of Player Development Andy McKay speak about their players like this…

Calling LATINOS LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS

And then they wondered why they didn’t make it to the playoffs.

Leadership is to blame, under Jerry Dipoto’s leadership no team has made it to the playoffs and they will continue to miss the playoffs with him in his position. Poor leadership.

It’s come to the point where I have to speak out because they are firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race.

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners recently terminated Martin’s contract after hiring her last offseason. According to Divish’s sources, the Mariners did not want to pay the remainder of what was indicated to be a three-year contract.

Responding to Divish’s tweet, Martin wrote, “They wanted to negotiate to keep me quiet.”

Per Divish, the Mariners plan to make a statement addressing Martin’s termination and the claims made in her Instagram post.

The Mariners had and still have a handful of players to whom the alleged comments might have been referring. Félix Hernández is from Venezuela. Edwin Díaz is from Puerto Rico. Roenis Elias is from Cuba. Juan Nicasio, Alex Colomé, Jean Segura, and Robinson Canó are all from the Dominican Republic. Others are U.S.-born but have familial ties to other countries.

Martin is torching a bridge, and is likely making herself unhireable across baseball, in order to make her claims. It will be interesting to see what the Mariners say in response and if anyone else steps forward to back Martin’s claims.

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Update (7:45 PM ET): The Mariners said in a statement:

Lorena Martin was relieved of her duties with the Mariners on Oct. 10, 2018.

While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by her today on social media. And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties.

The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated (or threatened to terminate) any trainers during the off-season.