Chicago Cubs Sign Japanese Closer Kyuji Fujikawa

By Dave Daniels
Robert Benson-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs signed Japanese cloer Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year 9.5 million dollar contract with a team option for a third year. Fujikawa spent 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers. He was 2-2 for Hanshin last season with a 1.32 ERA in 47 2/3 innings. He  hasn’t thrown 70 innings in a season since 2007 and missed time with an adductor strain last season. The Cubs are hoping that his injuries are a thing of the past.

This move seems to reinforce the idea that the Cubs are parting ways with current closer Carlos Marmol. A few weeks earlier, the Cubs worked out a deal for Dan Haren from the Los Angeles Angels involving Marmol, but the deal fell through when both teams couldn’t agree on the financial part of the trade. The Cubs reportedly outbid the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles for Fujikawa’s services.

This now marks the third free agent acquisition by the Cubs along with the additions of starting pitchers Scott Baker and Scott Feldman and catcher Dioner Navarro. With next week’s winter meetings, the Cubs may start shopping veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano along with the above-mentioned Marmol. Don’t expect the Cubs to act like a big-market team and spend money despite being a big market team and having money to spend.

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