Having lost out on top Korean starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, it appears the Cubs have set their sights on another star pitcher from the Pacific Rim. This time the pitcher is a reliever, Kyuji Fujikawa of the Hanshin Tigers. Fujikawa is a closer and has amassed incredible numbers in the NPB.
The 32 year old is power pitcher who throws in the mid 90s. He also throws a slider and a forkball.
Fujikawa has averaged nearly 12 Ks per 9 IP in his career while walking a respectable 2.69/9IP. Last year he was 2-2 with 24 saves, 15 walks, 58 strikeouts, and a 1.32 ERA in 47 2/3 innings. There is some risk involved, however. as relievers in Asia tend to be used heavily.
It sets up a potentially interesting scenario as it would give the Cubs even more flexibility to deal Carlos Marmol.
Fujikawa is a free agent and there is no posting fee involved. He has already visited the Cubs and Wrigley field as well as the Diamondbacks. There are other teams interested including the Red Sox, Rangers, Angels, and yes....the Los Angeles Dodgers and their monopoly money. This is not a case, however, where the the Cubs should overspend. If they can get Fujikawa at good value, great. If the Dodgers or another team want to overpay, then the Cubs shouldn't stand in the way.
Filed under: Uncategorized