According to several reports out of Chicago, Kosuke Fukudome has agreed to a 4-year deal with the Cubs believed to be worth between $45 to $50 million dollars….with some reports stating the deal could be worth as much as $53 million dollars. While there has not been an official announcement, the Cubs appear to have landed their top off-season target.
Dave Kaplan and Bruce Levine broke the story around 9:30pm C.T. on Tuesday night. The San Diego Union Tribune reported shortly after the story broke the Padres were told they “lost out in their bid” for Fukudome. Ken Rosenthal confirmed the radio reports with his sources and stated the deal is believed to be worth $12 million a year. According to a report in the Tribune, the deal will be announced on Wednesday and could be worth as much as $56 million dollars.
Updated 11:46pm C.T. with More on Fukudome and Rumors after the annoucement The Giants tried to make a late run at Fukudome according to Ken Rosenthal on XM Radio. He said this is a huge signing for the Cubs and he will fit in nicely in the Cubs lineup. Rosenthal believes Fukudome will not put up the power numbers he did in Japan but he is a good gap hitter and should help the Cubs balance their lineup.
Every signing is a risk and only time will tell if this was a good signing for the Cubs….
CCO Article on Kosuke Fukudome from October with background information and stats
In Other Rumors
The signing of Fukudome should allow Jim Hendry to add the other rumored pieces. The Score reported soon after the Fukudome announcement that the Cubs are still very interested in trading for Brian Roberts and a “fairly good pitcher.” The Score did not elaborate on which pitcher the Cubs could be targeting. The Score also speculated that if the Cubs land Roberts they would likely trade Mark DeRosa. Several reports have stated Lou Piniella would like to use DeRosa has a “super-sub.”
Dave Kaplan, while on XM Radio, stated the Cubs are still very interested in Chone Figgins.
Buck Martinez thinks Brian Roberts would be a good fit in Chicago and would also be a good sign to the fans of the Orioles that the organization is going in a different direction.
Paul Sullivan was on The Baseball Beat with Chuck Wilson on Tuesday. He said his sources told him Brian Roberts wants out of Baltimore and would probably welcome a trade to the Cubs. Sullivan thinks the Cubs are interested but it depends what the Orioles would want in return….he reiterated Rich Hill is not available.
Hendry proclaimed, “He’s a Cub. He’s a Cub.”
“He answers so many questions for us,” Hendry said. “He’s left-handed. He has a high on-base percentage. He’s a great defender with a great arm. He can steal bases. He can hit anywhere in the lineup — three, two or five.”
Cubs.com is reporting the deal “is believed to be worth $48 million dollars.”