The White Sox signed former Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to a one-year, 1 million contract that includes a 3.5 million club option for 2013, the team announced Tuesday morning.
Fukudome, who will turn 35 in late April, posted a .340 OBP between the Cubs and Indians last year. He struggled mightily with Cleveland, though, as his OBP fell from .373 with the Cubs to .300 with the Indians as his walk rate plummeted from 13.3 percent in Chicago to 5.8 percent in Cleveland.
Defensively, Fukudome's range has taken a few steps back in recent years, contributing to an Ultimate Zone Rating of -16 since the start of 2010. But he still has one of the stronger arms in baseball, which is a point in his favor. He's experienced as a center fielder and a right fielder, too, so he'll be in the mix with Brent Lillibridge to be used as a late-inning defensive replacement for Dayan Viciedo.
Kosuke adds to our outfield depth and gives Robin another left-handed bat to mix into the lineup based on matchups, assistant GM Rick Hahn said. He can play center field and right and provides flexibility to our roster.
Fukudome's contract is for 500,000 in 2012 with a 500,000 buyout for the 2013 option.
The signing of Fukudome will have a direct impact on two players: Alex Rios and Jordan Danks. Check back with White Sox Talk later this afternoon for how those two players will be effected by this move.