Dragons express interest in signing Fukudome


The Chunichi Dragons said Thursday that they will pursue their former star outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, whose major-league career appears to have run its course.

“We’re interested so we will contact him,” team president Katsuhiko Sakai said.

The 35-year-old Fukudome played for Chunichi from 1999 to 2007 before signing a four-year deal with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent. After being traded to the Cleveland Indians midway through last season, he joined the Chicago White Sox this year but was released in June.

Fukudome signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees but was never called up and let go Sept. 3, the last day of the Triple-A season.

The Dragons, though, believe Fukudome has enough baseball left in him to help out the team.

“He’s good enough,” said Takashi Ide, who works for Chunichi’s baseball operations. “The manager says he can help us out.”