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 [...]

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