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 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.
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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