CHICAGO (AP) — Four years later, the Chicago White Sox finally signed Kosuke Fukudome — and for a fraction of the price he cost the Cubs.
The outfielder agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract that guarantees $1 million. He will get a $500,000 salary this year, and the White Sox have a $3.5 million option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.
Now 34, Fukudome joined the Cubs for the 2008 season with a $48 million, four-year contract.
"We were aggressive," White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn said. "For reasons that I think he fairly clearly outlined at the time, he decided to go with the opportunity on the North Side over ours."
With the Cubs, Fukudome could remain in right field. The White Sox had Jermaine Dye in place at the time.
An All-Star in 2008, Fukudome was traded from the Cubs to Cleveland last July 28 for outfielder Abner Abreu and pitcher Carlton Smith. Fukudome hit .262 with eight homers, 27 doubles and 35 RBIs last season. He has a .260 average in the majors with 42 homers and 191 RBIs.
Chicago views Fukudome a left-handed hitter who can play center and right.
"We're not looking for this guy to come in and completely change his approach," Hahn said. "We just want him to be the player he's proven to be over the last four years."