Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – The Chicago Cubs have reportedly inked Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million pact Sunday, according to a reliable league source.
The 32-year-old Fujikawa racked up 220 saves with a 1.77 ERA over 12 seasons for Hanshin Tigers but the Cubs’ signing of the Japanese hurler also is a gamble given the players’ history of injuries.
After suffering an abductor strain injury in 2007, Fujikawa has pitched just 70 innings over the last five years.
Nevertheless, FOX Sports and MLB Network Ken Rosenthal said Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was very impressed by Fujikawa during his tour in Wrigley Field two weeks ago.
Fujikawa will reportedly pocket a $1 million signing bunos and $4 million base salaries in 2013 and 2014. The deal also includes a vesting option worth $5.5 million and $6 million, which will be determined by games logged.
Although the deal with Fujikawa remains unofficial, Hoyer insisted any player movement will not affect the status of Calos Marmol as the main closer for the Cubs.
“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.”