Fujikawa Reportedly Prefers Cubs or Angels … and Other News and Notes

The Cubs reportedly had free agent Kyuji Fujikawa in for a tour of Wrigley Field on November 15 and according to a report from Mike DiGiovanna, Fujikawa would prefer to pitch for either the Cubs or Angels but has not ruled out the Diamondbacks. Fujikawa toured all three parks earlier in this month and appears to be deciding between the three teams.

DiGiovanna speculated that the Cubs could interest Fujikawa because they could offer him a closing job while the Angels would give him a chance to pitch late in games, but not as a closer, for a team that is expected to contend. If the Cubs are talking to Kyuji Fujikawa about closing games then there must be more interest in Carlos Marmol than has been reported.

Kyuji Fujikawa is a free agent and is not subject to a posting fee. The 32-year old right hander owns a 26-18 career mark in 345 games over six seasons in Japan. Fujikawa has recorded 202 saves with a 1.36 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

Kyuji Fujikawa
Kyuji Fujikawa is looking to pitch in the majors next season and beyond. Fujikawa is coming off a good season with the Hanshin Tigers in which he posted a 2-2 record in 48 games with a 1.32 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Fujikawa struck out 58 batters, walked 15 and surrendered 34 hits in 47 2/3 innings.

Kyuji Fujikawa features a low-90s fastball, a slider and a forkball.

Kyuji Fujikawa’s Page on Baseball-Reference

News and Notes
The Cubs big league roster currently stands at 40 players after signing Scott Feldman and designating Casey Coleman for assignment on Wednesday.

Friday is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players for next season. The Cubs have not tipped their hand on whether they will tender a contract to Ian Stewart or not … but the Cubs are expected to tender contracts to Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Luis Valbuena.

Josh Vitters was released by his winter league team in Venezuela and was scheduled to return home on Wednesday according to a report from Phil Rogers. There is quite a bit of speculation on why Vitters was “sent home” but the Cubs have not commented on the exact reason Vitters is no longer on Caracas’ roster.

As reported on Wednesday, two top Cuban prospects are close to becoming free agents according to a report from Jesse Sanchez. The Cubs have not been linked to either shortstop Aledmys Diaz or outfielder Dariel Alvarez … but do not be surprised if that changes in the near future. Sanchez reported Wednesday afternoon that he has been told that the usual suspects have expressed interest in this year’s Cuban prospects.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: Twins reportedly talking to Francisco Liriano about 1-yr. deal. Another interesting option could be KC, as they look for rotation help.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Josh Vitters has switched VZL teams to get more playing time http://bit.ly/QP8J75

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    If the Cubs go after Diaz, then I would imagine the Castro to the Marlins for Stanton might have some legs….The reason I feel that way is that they are so loaded at SS throughout the system with Castro in the bigs, Lake at AAA, Alcantara and/or Baez at AA, Saunders high-A, and Penalver low-A, and Acosta, De la Rosa, and Emeterio at the Dominican Academy….unless they’d want to move him to 2B, it just doesn’t make sense to go after him.

    Alvarez is an entirely different thing, as the Cubs are NOT stacked in the OF with only Soler, Almora, and maybe Jackson if he fixes his swing factoring into plans long-term. You could make the case for Szczur, though most reports I’ve read have him pegged as a 4th/5th OF at best, unlike the other 3 I mentioned. You could make the case for guys like Golden (had season cut short by torn ACL), or Dunston Jr., but OF is definitely a concern with depth, so I could easily see them going after Alvarez if he’s a good player.

    Anyway, that’s my take. What do you think Neil?

  • Vivid_Reality

    The logic is sound but I just don’t see the Marlins trading Stanton for a 60m commitment. That kinda defeats the whole purpose for them. Stanton is a comparable age and is still pre arb. It would make more sense for them to hold on to Stanton rather than trade him for Castro+.

  • J Daniel

    Aaron,
    I actually believe that they will move Castro at some point, just a matter of when. His contract will be cheap in comparison for other teams and he will bring back a really good return. If they traded Nomar they will have no problem trading Castro. But that is what teams should do when they have other players ready to come up and replace without drop off.

    And you say maybe on Jackson. I would go further and say don’t count on him at all. Don’t think those holes can be fixed. I would go hard after Stanton and make Castro the center of the deal. Not sure how much else it would take but I think Stanton is a long term answer to a much needed position. That would give them Stanton and Rizzo, 2 young power guys. Then you can see a plan starting to take shape.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aaron, I am not ignoring you. I will respond in detail
    tonight.

  • daverj

    I don’t think Castro for Stanton is being discussed for a number of reasons. First, the Marlins received two shortstops back from the Blue Jays. Second, Castro is signed to a club friendly deal but it’s still a $60 million contract and the Marlins probably don’t want to add those dollars. Also, Stanton is worth a significant piece in addition to Castro and I’m not sure the Cubs would be willing to part with Castro plus one of their top prospects like Baez, Almora or Soler to get Stanton.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aaron, sorry for the delay … it was one of those days.

    I agree with you on the Cubs possibly going after Alvarez instead of Diaz. With the depth in the system at shortstop, as you pointed out, there is not as much need in that area as there is in the outfield.

    Again, I agree with you on Szczur. From what I’ve read and seen, he figures to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, not an everyday player. I have never been as high on Golden as you, even before the injury.

    Both players sound intriguing and could give the Cubs some much-needed depth … but I would think if they get in the mix for one of the players it would be Alvarez.

    As for Castro, I really do not think they are looking to move him. That could obviously change as players develop, especially Baez.

    Keep an eye out for Lake to move to third, or to the outfield, on a permanent basis. I really think he is out of the mix at shortstop.

  • Vivid_Reality

    I like the idea of overhauling the bullpen. It could be done for relatively cheap and would make the on field product much more watchable.

    I don’t really know what would be a reasonable contract for a 32 year old Japanese reliever. 2/6? Assuming we get him for something not outrageous I think he could be a solid pickup. I definitely call the Angels and see what they want for Walden. Lake for Walden swap or something along those lines? I would also kick the tires on Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Joakim Soria, and Sean Burnett.

    Marmol
    Russel
    Camp
    Walden
    Fujukawa
    Adams / Uehara / Soria / Burnett

    That is a pretty good start on a bullpen. It would certainly ensure we are not always pissing away games we actually have the lead in. It also gives us the flexibility to move Marmol without sacrificing much stability in the back end of the bullpen.

  • RynoTiger

    I just had a really really really crazy idea…since the Cubs coaches did so well in teaching Soriano to play LF…why not teach him to play 3B for this year?! it’s so crazy I love it!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More on Vitters from Carrie Muskat: Need to update the Josh Vitters update. He’s back home after switching teams in VZL http://bit.ly/QP8J75 #Cubs

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    Fujikawa being interested in both the Angels AND the Cubs makes me wonder if maybe he prefers the west coast and the Angels but wants to keep a bidder in the mix.

    Vitters seems to be a “non-adjuster”. (sigh)

    I am curious to see if Valbuena’s resurgence is for real and if it will amount to anything on the big league level.

  • Dorasaga

    The issue is usually personal, methinks. Caracas, the capital of North shore Americana (south) always featured the best Winter team. It’s a lot of pressure, and a lot of temptations there, I heard. Drugs, women, and so on.

  • Dorasaga

    I like your positive thinking, and that’s a good bullpen. But there’s no good rotation to start with. Any good bullpen will be worn out, so it’s the last thing a rebuilding management needs to fix. Not exactly my case, but you see how a bullpen may be replaceable:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/jonathan-broxton-and-the-reds-bullpen/

    HIGHLIGHT (large case by me):

    “The reality that the Reds are in contention, and thus that MARGINAL WINS are probably worth more for them than for the average team is something that cannot really be disputed… The rising salaries argument might be valid, but it is too early to say…

    “And even with the big split, Marshall was still pretty awesome in 2012. One could make arguments for OTHER REDS RELIEVERES BEING BETTER than or at least as good as Broxton. Even one or two of them being close to Broxton reduces his deserved priority for high-leverage innings.”

    They don’t need to fix the bullpen. A good system full of good arms will fix it in due time, shortly.

  • cardswho

    Except for the Marmol part

  • cardswho

    They have a solid rotation.

  • Dorasaga

    The Cubs? Haha. Mediocre, yes. Good as in “better than league average,” nay.