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.

Comments

What about this guy? He's a closer
Hitoki Iwase, LHRP
http://www.mlb4u.com/topfa07.php?field=team

do not want...do not want...do 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"

would/should

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 carlos.rubiATgmail.com.

"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, Joe........you 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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 41 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 48 min 18 sec ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 14 hours 28 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 14 hours 32 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 14 hours 48 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 14 hours 51 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 14 hours 55 min ago view