CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox and free-agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1-million contract which includes a club option for the 2013 season. Under terms of the agreement, Fukudome will receive $500,000 in 2012, while the Sox hold a $3.5-millon option for 2013, including a $500,000 buyout.
“Kosuke adds to our outfield depth and gives Robin another left-handed bat to mix into the lineup based on matchups,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox vice president/assistant general manager. “He can play center field and right and provides flexibility to our roster.”
Fukudome, 34, combined to hit .262 (139-530) with 27 doubles, eight home runs, 35 RBI and 59 runs scored in 146 games between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland in 2011. He was traded by the Cubs to the Indians on July 28 in exchange for outfielder Abner Abreu and pitcher Carlton Smith.
As a rookie in 2008, the 6-foot, 200-pounder was selected as the starting right fielder for the National League at the All-Star Game held at Yankee Stadium. He hit .257 (129-501) with 25 doubles, 10 home runs, 58 RBI and 79 runs scored over 150 games that season.
Fukudome, who bats left-handed, is a lifetime .260 (491-1,888) hitter with 110 doubles, 42 home runs, 191 RBI, 262 runs scored and 299 walks in 572 games over four seasons with the Cubs (2008-11) and Cleveland (2011).
Fukudome played nine seasons with Chunichi of the Japanese Central League from 1999-2007. He was named the CL Most Valuable Player in 2006 after hitting .351 (174-496) with 31 home runs and 104 RBI. Fukudome represented Japan at the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games and the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.
He will wear uniform No. 1. With Fukudome’s addition, the White Sox 40-man roster is at 37.