According to Sanspo, Hanshin HQ reportedly gave the Tigers the green light to go after both Kosuke Fukudome and Tsuyoshi Nishioka on Saturday. The Tigers did have some concerns about Fukudome initially, but they apparently gathered enough positive information to move forward on him. There was also a difference of an opinion between Hanshin HQ and the front office (HHQ was expecting the team to push youth and go with younger players like Hayata Ito in right), but both sides ultimately agreed to work together in supporting Yutaka Wada.
The Tigers best case scenario for their batting order next season: Nishioka leading off, Toritani batting third, a foreign power as their clean-up hitter, and Fukudome batting fifth.
With regards to the Chunichi Dragons, an unnamed source has told reporters that while they have gotten in tough with Fukudome's representatives, negotiations are not going particularly well since he is also not a player they absolutely need.
Source: Sanspo 10/7/2012
According to Daily Sports, a source close to Fukudome informed reporters that the thirty-five-year-old veteran has already spoken directly to the Hanshin Tigers and Yokohama Bay Stars. The Tigers may have also offered a two-year deal, but it apparently was not enough to move him.
With the Tigers looking to get younger, the front office will have to proceed extremely carefully with regards to what they offer Fukudome because if he does not perform and the team is locked into another long-term deal with an aging veteran, the stockholders will not be happy. For that reason, the Bay Stars may end up being a more appealing option for Fukudome. Plus, there are also rumors that his family wants him to play for a team in Tokyo.
Source: Daily Sports 10/7/2012