CHICAGO (AP) -Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and the Chicago Cubs reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday on a four-year contract.
The deal is subject to a physical, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The agreement could be finalized as early as Wednesday.
Fukudome was considered one of the best outfielders in Japanese baseball. The 30-year-old slugger was a key member of the Japan team that won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March 2006.
He had surgery on his right elbow in August and sat out the Japan Series, but has 192 homers and a .305 batting average over nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons, who won their first championship in 53 years on Nov. 2.
After becoming a free agent, Fukudome drew interest from the Cubs, San Diego Padres and White Sox.
He is expected to play right field for the Cubs, who traded outfielder Jacque Jones to Detroit this offseason and declined their contract option on veteran Cliff Floyd.
All-Star slugger Alfonso Soriano returns in left and speedy prospect Felix Pie is expected to take over in center after shuttling between the majors and minors this season. The Cubs hope Fukudome will provide the consistent left-handed bat they seek to go along with righties Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.
Chicago won the NL Central title last season before being swept by Arizona in the first round of the playoffs.
Fukudome recently told the Dragons he wouldn't return next season, saying he wanted to move to the major leagues.

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
Thumbnail Donaldson, Toronto on brink of elimination In a close-out situation, Cleveland manager Terry Francona wants to leave as little to chance as possible. Which is why Corey Kluber, on short rest and all,...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages