MLB notes: White Sox finally get Fukudome

Kosuke Fukudome watches the ball leave the park for a home run against the Tigers in at Progressive...

Kosuke Fukudome watches the ball leave the park for a home run against the Tigers in at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, Sep. 5, 2011. (AARON JOSEFCZYK/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:45 PM ET

Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome returned Tuesday to Chicago -- not to rejoin the Cubs but to sign with the White Sox.

Fukudome spent almost four seasons with the Cubs, after they outbid the Sox for the Japanese outfielder in 2008. He will earn $500,000 in 2012, and the White Sox have a $3.5-million option for 2013 or a $500,000 buyout.

"Kosuke adds to our outfield depth and gives (manager Robin Ventura) another left-handed bat to mix into the lineup based on matchups," White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement.

Fukudome arrived in the U.S. as a heralded Japanese import before the 2008 season, signed a four-year, $48-million contract and made the all-star team as a rookie.

His statistics have tailed off since and the Cubs traded him last July to the Cleveland Indians. Fukudome, 34, hit a combined .262 with eight homers and 35 RBI last season.

GWYNN HAS CANCER SURGERY

Hall-of Famer Tony Gwynn was scheduled for surgery Tuesday to remove a new cancerous tumour in his right cheek.

He had surgery in the same area 18 months ago and doctors believe the cancer remained inside his salivary gland, Gwynn's wife, Alicia, told ESPN.com.

"They said they may need to remove the facial nerve -- they might have to go a lot deeper," she said.

Doctors were prepared to perform a nerve graft to preserve Gwynn's facial functions.

"Hopefully, his face will work fine; hopefully he'll be able to blink his eye. They said they will make his face as normal as they can -- and that it might be better than it was."

Gwynn placed smokeless tobacco inside his right cheek for nearly 30 years. The former San Diego Padres outfielder blamed that for the cancerous growth and has quit the habit.

BRAUN AWAITS RULING

A decision is expected within 10 days on Ryan Braun's appeal of a positive drug test.

A three-person panel has been granted more time -- it has been almost four weeks since the hearing -- to determine whether the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder should serve a 50-game suspension to start the 2012 season.

A resolution is expected before Feb. 24 when the Brewers open training camp. If the suspension is upheld, Braun still would be allowed to participate in spring training.

The 28-year-old tested positive during the playoffs last October for a performance-enhancing drug.

RAYS STAY EXTENDED

Manager Joe Maddon has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Rays, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Maddon's existing contract expires at the end of the 2012 season. The new deal, worth about $2 million annually, would keep HIM in the dugout through 2015. That would be his 10th season as Rays manager.

The 58-year-old twice has been selected AL manager of the year. The contract extension will be announced Wednesday.

BRIEFLY

The Kansas City Royals have exercised the 2013 option on manager Ned Yost. The 57-year-old Yost is set to begin his second full season in Kansas City ... Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jose Veras has lost his arbitration case, and will earn $2 million in 2012, instead of the $2.375 million he had requested. The 31-year-old reliever had a 2-4 record with a 3.80 earned-run average in 71 innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. He was acquired by the Brewers in a trade for third baseman 3B Casey McGehee.


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