The Cubs announced Thursday the team would not be picking up the 2015 club option for $5.5 million on RHP Kyuji Fujikawa. The Cubs paid the $500,000 buyout on the option that was included in the two-year, $9.5 million contract Fujikawa signed in December 2012.
With the Cubs declining his option, Kyuji Fujikawa becomes a free agent.
With the six roster moves the Cubs have made in last two days, the 40-man roster officially stands at 35 players. The Cubs will use two of the open spots on OF Ryan Sweeney and OF Justin Ruggiano when the veteran outfielders are activated from the 60-day DL.
Kyuji Fujikawa pitched in only 12 games before Tommy John surgery derailed his career in the majors. Fujikawa was 1-1 in 12 games in 2013 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP (seven runs on 11 hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts) prior to the surgery.
Fujikawa worked his way back and appeared in 15 games at the end of the 2014 season. Fujikawa pitched through command issues and less velocity than he did prior to missing more than a year on the mound. Fujikawa allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 118 hits with six walks and 17 strikeouts (4.85 ERA, 1.85 WHIP).
The Cubs six roster moves includes removing OF/INF Josh Vitters, INF/OF Chris Valaika, OF Ryan Kalish, RHP James McDonald, RHP Carlos Villanueva and RHP Kyuji Fujikawa from the 40-man roster.
The Cubs have not made an announcement on whether or not the team will exercise the $5 million club option on LHP Tsuyoshi Wada for the 2015 season.