Tigers lose interest in Fukudome

Kyodo News

The Hanshin Tigers have dropped out of the hunt for free agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, club president Nobuo Minami said Tuesday. “Although we would still confirm with his agent, we determined that we are in a difficult situation as a result of our information gathering,” Minami said. Minami was attending a meeting of representatives from baseball’s 12 teams. Hanshin offered a four-year contract worth an estimated ¥2 billion when the club met with the 30-year-old Fukudome in Osaka on Nov. 16. Hanshin’s withdrawal left the Yomiuri Giants and major league clubs as the remaining bidders for the 2006 Central League MVP.