Cubs Reportedly Interested in Japanese Pitcher
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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.