Fukudome, Kuroda, Kobayashi Rumors

Here’s a link chock full of rumors involving Japanese ballplayers who might come over to MLB.  It’s also loaded with links most of you will not be able to read.

  • Masahide Kobayashi, the 33 year-old righthanded closer, will be represented by SFX.  Fellow free agents Kerry Wood and Jorge Julio are also using that agency, as far as I can tell.
  • Hiroki Kuroda is expected to fill for free agency on Monday.  Since there’s no posting fee involved, some have speculated his salary could exceed Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s.  Matsuzaka will earn an average of $8.66MM per season during his six-year deal, and he also has a full no-trade clause.  The idea of Kuroda earning around $10MM per year jives with earlier remarks from Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider.
  • The deadline to fill for free agency in Japan is November 12th.  Kosuke Fukudome is still undecided about whether to jump over to MLB.  He’ll meet with his current team, the Chunichi Dragons, on Monday.  They’re expected to make him an offer.  The Hanshin Tigers may also make a play at $20MM over four years, using the money they received from posting Kei Igawa.
  • Some reports indicate that the Yankees may be interested in acquiring Kaz Matsui to play second base if they move Robinson Cano to third.  Doesn’t seem likely.   

Special thanks to Tak Iwanaga for translating.

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