The Cubs are still busy trying to patch some holes on their roster. Yesterday we talked about their interest in Jeff Keppinger, today Los Angeles Times beat writer Mike DiGiovanna tweeted that the Japanese closer prefers to sign with the Cubs and the Angels.
DiGiovanna goes on to speculate that the Cubs appeal to him because they could conceivably offer him the closer's role but may prefer the Angels because the team expects to contend.
At first glance, closer doesn't seem to be a pressing need for the Cubs as they have yet to unload Carlos Marmol, but it does make some sense in light of what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have said about creating value in the closer role. Not only can the Cubs get a player back for Marmol, but they can build the MLB unproven Fujikawa's value by giving him the opportunity to come in and close games from day one.
I wrote a bit about Fujikawa about a couple of weeks ago.
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.
Fujikawa is a true free agent and teams don't need to post a bid for him. They can sign him outright.
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