12/1 Report: Cubs sign Fujikawa

The Cubs have reportedly signed Japanese free agent pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Saturday. The Cubs would not confirm or comment on the report except to say nothing is imminent.

Fujikawa, 32, played 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers, totaling 220 saves, and a 1.77 ERA. Last season, he appeared in 47 2/3 innings and compiled a 1.32 ERA. He was sidelined with an adductor strain and has not thrown 70 innings in a single season since 2007.

According to Rosenthal, the right-hander will receive a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and ’14. There is a vesting option valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.

On Friday, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer did confirm that he met with Fujikawa about 10 days ago and that the Japanese pitcher toured Wrigley Field. Hoyer said they were “very impressed” by the right-hander but would not comment on a time-table or the negotiations.

The Cubs did re-sign set-up pitcher Shawn Camp but otherwise have not made any additions to the bullpen.

“If we bring in someone who has closing experience, or a number of guys who have closing experience, that’s no knock on Carlos [Marmol],” Hoyer said of the Cubs current closer. “I think every team in baseball wants to have an assortment of guys back there who, if the need arises, can pitch in the ninth inning. Hopefully we can do that.”

The Angels, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Orioles also were believed to be interested in Fujikawa.

Last month, the Cubs were close to completing a deal with the Angels which would’ve sent Marmol to Anaheim for starter Dan Haren. The Cubs pulled that trade off the table because of concerns over Haren’s medical reports.

– Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

This is another nice signing, if its completed? The Cubs added a quality closer at a very good price. The signings of Feldman, Baker, Navarro and now Fujikawa have cost nothing in young talent. It would be very nice to add another starting pitcher, however that pitcher might already be in the system.
The Bullpen has been addressed, the Catching has been addressed. 3B and OF is where the Focus needs to be placed, in my opinion. The lack of 3B talent in the ML’s is going to make that very difficult. I am sure that was a huge reason for the gamble on Stewart last year.
There is no power in the OF if Soriano gets traded. There is no power at catching or 3B. Should Soriano get traded, who would hit behind Rizzo? He will be pitched around alot this coming summer unless a quality power bat is acquired.
I hope Fujikawa signs that contract quickly so the FO can move forward this week.

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