Fukudome still undecided on move

Fukudome still undecided on move

CHICAGO -- Kosuke Fukudome is still considering his options, and his agent said Friday the Japanese outfielder could make an announcement next week.

Agent Joe Urbon said an Internet report that indicated Fukudome has made up his mind to play in the Major Leagues was incorrect.

"He's not going to decide until Tuesday, or Monday our time," Urbon said. "If he had made that decision, you would have seen it out of Japan by now."

Urbon said Fukudome is still considering an offer by the Yomiuri Giants and, out of respect to that team, will not make a decision to leave Japan without informing the Giants first.

Several teams are bidding for Fukudome, and Urbon said he sent details to the outfielder on Thursday. The Cubs are one of the teams, as are the crosstown White Sox. Other teams believed to be bidding for Fukudome include the Padres, Giants and Rangers.

"He's got enough information to decide which [offer] he plans on taking early next week, the Tokyo [Yomiuri] offer or a Major League club," Urbon said.

The Cubs are looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder to take over right field and balance their right-handed lineup. Fukudome has a .305 career batting average in Japan, and averaged 29 homers between 2003-06. He was limited last season because of bone chips in his right elbow.

Hot Stove

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said scouts have described Fukudome as a cross between Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki. General manager Jim Hendry said he last talked to Urbon on Wednesday, and that the agent did not give him a definite day as to when Fukudome would make his decision, but only said "soon."

If Fukudome decides to come to the U.S., Urbon was not sure whether the outfielder would need to tour the Major League stadiums, but said the teams involved know that is a possibility.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.