Report: Cubs sign Fukudome

Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and the Chicago Cubs reached a preliminary agreement yesterday on a four-year, $48 million contract.

The deal is subject to a physical, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The agreement could be finalized as early as today.


Fukudome, who is expected to play right field, was considered one of the best outfielders in Japanese baseball.

He had surgery on his right elbow in August but has 192 homers and a .305 batting average over nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons.


After becoming a free agent, Fukudome, 30, drew interest from the Cubs, San Diego Padres and White Sox.

Yankees -- New York asked Carl Pavano to accept a minor league contract and come off their big league roster. A $39.95 million bust since signing with the Yankees as a free agent before the 2005 season, Pavano had rotator cuff surgery June 5. New York is not counting on him to be available next year. Hampered by shoulder, back, elbow and rib injuries, Pavano went 5-6 in 19 starts with the Yankees.

Twins -- Outfielder Craig Monroe and Minnesota agreed to a one-year, $3.82 million contract. Monroe is a career .256 hitter over five-plus major league seasons.

Padres -- Cy Young winner Jake Peavy took a physical and the two sides anticipated finalizing a three-year, $52 million contract extension by today. The team also agreed to terms with free-agent second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, pending a physical Monday.

Nationals -- Catcher Paul Lo Duca agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with Washington because, he said, he felt wanted and because there will be plenty of chances to face his old club, the Mets. "I'm excited to be part of a team that's young and has a chance to win this division," Lo Duca said after passing a physical to make the deal official.

Rockies -- Pitcher Aaron Cook and Colorado finalized a contract that guarantees him an additional $30 million over three seasons and will keep him with the team through 2011.