Cubs Reportedly Interested in Japanese Pitcher

Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs and the Seattle Mariners are the two MLB clubs who have expressed the most interest in Hiroshima Toyo Carp RHP Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda is 32-years old and an 11-year veteran of Japanese major league baseball. Because he is an unrestricted FA, no posting fee would be required. Sully also mentions that the Cubs had tried to sign Kuroda a year ago, but Kuroda decided to return to the Carp for one more season. Cubs Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator Steve Wilson has been busy the past few months, signing amateur free-agents from Australia, Korea, and Taiwan. By being present and active around Asian and Australian baseball circles, Wilson gives the Cubs a leg-up over where they were just a year ago. The "Big Fish" among Japanese FA this off-season should be Chunichi Dragons OF Kosuke Fukudome. A 30-year old left-handed hitting RF, Kosuke (like Ichiro, he wants to be known by his first name) had right elbow surgery in L. A. in August, and is presently said to be rehabbing in the U. S. As is the case with Kuroda, Kosuke (pronounced "Ko-Skay") is an unrestricted FA and so no posting fee would be required.


What about this guy? He's a closer
Hitoki Iwase, LHRP

do not not not want...

this guy is a crapballing contact pitcher. yes, he's got a 90+mph fastball and great control over it and his "forkball" and some other pitch, but he's got no deception.

he'll be compared to maddux non-fn-stop cuz of his great control and cuz he's got a backdoor slider (one that's kinda hyped to hell), but that fastball and that forkball are not great stuff, imo.

maybe his fastball is impressive for the 84-88mph fastball league over there...maybe that forkball doesnt get punished as much as it would over there cuz its a late sinker that doesnt always sink where it should...

i really fear the translation of his stuff into mlb and wouldnt be surprised to see this guy hand out batting practice.

"as much as it would"


auggie ojeda is f'n awesome.

If my last name were FukUDome, I think I'd want people to use my first name too...

re: 4...check your sports highlights for that auggie catch if you didnt see it when it happened. it was awesomeness.

If there is no posting fee required, I would go after BOTH of these guys. Obviously, without knowing how much they are expecting to get paid, it sounds good. If they are looking for Okajima-type numbers, I think the Cubs should snap both of them up. If they're looking for Daisuke numbers, forget it...

one day there will be a world again where the Rockies lose

I would shell out the cash for Fukudome's Cubs jersey, just to see how many people would mispronounce it.

My guess: a ton.

All of those interested in writing a piece for the TCR' Cubs Annual, drop me a line at

"If they are looking for Okajima-type numbers, I think the Cubs should snap both of them up. If they’re looking for Daisuke numbers, forget it…"

early estimates on fukudome are in the 3/27+ area based on the rumor-mongers.

i have no idea what the market is for kuroda given he's not exactly junk (though i wouldnt really feel like the cubs got a slam-dunk if they signed him for my own fears) and he's a true FA in a very tight FA pitching market. he instantly becomes the #1 righty SP FA...which is f'n weak...

Fukudome can play CF. Felix Pie blows. Jock Strap blows. Hence, sign Fukudome.

Kuroda, no thanks.

My t-shirt will just say "Welcome to the Fukudome."

WANTED: A ML RF for the 2008 Cubs.

Ideal candidate with be able to post .300/.350/.500 numbers with 25+ HR and 90 RBIs and hit left-handed. Must be able to take good routes to the ball and consistently throw to the right base and hit cutoff man. High baseball IQ and ability to run the bases correctly a definite plus. Excellent salary/benefits available.

Is this Fukodome?

#14 ... sounds like George Altman to me.

Thanks, know, the sad fact is that that person should be Jacque Jones.

If the cutoff man is allowed to be in shallow right field and the stats are qualified as 'against right handed batters' then Jackie Jones is your man.

[...] Baseball - he’ll be compared to maddux non-fn-stop cuz of his great control and cuz he’s got a backdoor slider (one that’s kinda hyped to hell), but that fastball and that forkball are not great stuff, imo. maybe his fastball is impressive for the 84-88mph Read it here [...]

Recent comments

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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.