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Fukudome's Free Agency Status

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Fukudome's Free Agency Status
I've been holding out for a while on reporting Fukudome's current free agency status because I wasn't 100% sure what it was. Well, there's finally an article [Sanspo - in Japanese] that lays it out clearly.

As many of you have read, Fukudome was supposed to reach free agency this year in mid-August. Then he went on the DL on July 24 for elbow problems, still 29 days short of reaching free agency. Thereafter, all the news about Fukudome was about whether or not he'll be having surgury, and/or whether or not he'll be back in time for the playoffs. There was one article that I'd read that brushed over the "free 60 days for playing 145 days the year before" issue (see below), but didn't mention if this was applicable this season or not.

Now, what's that about 145 days? This past off season there was talk about a deal between the owners and players regarding days on the disabled list counting toward free agency. One of the things mentioned was getting 60 days for the current year if one becomes injured during the course of the season and had a minimum of 145 days on the active roster the season before. The number of days allowed to count toward free agency while off the active roster was adjusted based on the number of days fewer than 145 days the previous season.

What I wasn't sure of until now was whether management approved of this deal or not. The above mentioned Sanspo article says that this system is in place, so the remaining 29 days required on the active roster is essentially cleared for this season, making Fukudome a free agent this coming off season.

As for the elbow and recovery, if Fukudome does have surgery (which will most likely be done later this month), he'll need a minimum of two months to recover, pretty much eliminating him from participating in post season. While Fukudome will be on the free agent block, that will leave Fukudome as a completely unknown item for any potential free agent buyer this winter, on either side of the Pacific.
Re: Fukudome's Free Agency Status
[ Author: IguchiFan | Posted: Aug 14, 2007 7:37 AM ]

Curious. Will this rule apply to the time missed by Koji Uehara as well?

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