The Cubs are reportedly courting the top Japanese reliever.
The Chicago Cubs have already had an active offseason, agreeing to the framework on a trade for Los Angeles Angels starter Dan Haren (prior to the deal falling apart) and signing starter Scott Baker to a one-year deal. Last week, they hosted Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, who is currently travelling across the country meeting with various major league teams including the Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.
It's not known exactly how strong of an interest the Cubs have in Fujikawa, a 32-year-old reliever who tossed just 47.2 innings in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan last season and may not be the best fit for an ostensibly rebuilding team. That said, it's possible that the Cubs are looking to solidify the back-end of a bullpen that cycled through closers at an alarming pace last season, or maybe they would be looking to sign Fujikawa in order to flip him to a contender at a later point in the season.
Fujikawa is considered one of the best relievers in Japan, and he hasn't had an ERA above 2.01 since the 2004 season.