Updated – 6:20am C.T. – It Appears Fukudome will play in the Majors
The Cubs off-season plans appear to be on hold as they wait for the official word from the Fukudome Camp on whether or not the outfielder will make the move to Major League Baseball. Several reports over the weekend appeared to be official….how many times is the Associated Press actually wrong? Joe Urbon, Fukudome’s agent, stated on Monday that all reports over the weekend were premature and Kosuke has yet to officially decide where he will play next season, and beyond.
Reports indicated on Monday afternoon that Urbon would talk to Fukudome after 10:00pm C.T. on Monday night and Urbon would inform the teams on Tuesday of Fukudome’s decision. Not what team he has chosen, but where he has decided to play. The Sun-Times reported once Fukudome makes the announcement “a deal could get done within a day.” The Padres are focusing on Fukudome as much as the Cubs and have put their off-season moves on hold as well. Kevin Towers has been more vocal in the media than Jim Hendry, but the bids are rumored to be close. Several reports have indicated the Cubs will make a huge push for Fukudome once he announces his decision….the White Sox should not be counted out.
The Tribune mentioned the Cubs could backload his contract to help with this year’s budget and could help pay for Fukudome with ads inside Wrigley Field similar to the ads the Red Sox and Mariners sold to Japanese companies….with some of the signage being in Japanese “since more Cubs games will be televised in Japan if Fukudome signs.”
Kevin Towers told MLB.com, he thinks he will know if Fukudome is a Padre or not within 48 hours, but Towers did say he has been thinking under the same time frame for the past few days. A quote from Towers on MLB.com is worth a mention….
“The agent has kept it close to the vest. All I know is that it’s come down to two cities. From a geographical standpoint, I think we’re attractive. Money certainly plans into it and the competitiveness of the of the ballclub.”
Urbon told the San Diego Union Tribune….
“Fukudome has enough information to make a decision.”
The Union Tribune speculated the Padres offer could have exceeded the $10 million annual salary for 3-4 years….several reports have indicated their offer is the largest in franchise history that was not an extension.
The Cubs are waiting for Fukudome, whether the decision is right or wrong, this is what they are doing. Any moves they would make will likely be done via a trade so until they either sign Fukudome or lose him to another team, Jim Hendry does not know which players he needs to keep or which ones he can trade.
Here is what a few of the other blogs and forums are saying about Kosuke Fukudome….while we all wait.
- Ducksnorts – The Padres
- Giants Baseball Blog – The Giants
- Rangers Fans – The Rangers
- Royal Reflections – The Royals
- Sox Machine – The White Sox
And the links to each team’s page on Pro Sports Daily
- The Padres
- The Giants
- The Rangers
- The Royals
- The White Sox
Update – According to a report from the Associated Press found on Yahoo.com, Kosuke Fukudome has decided to leave Japan and play in the states next season. SI.com is running a similar story. Yahoo.com’s report is carrying a quote…..
“I won’t be playing for a Japanese club next season, I’ll play in the majors,” Fukudome said. “I appreciate the fans who supported me for nine years. I hope that the fans continue to root for me when they see me playing in the United States.”
The San Diego Union Tribune is speculating the Cubs offer to Fukudome could be near $50 million dollars.