The Chicago Cubs announced on Friday morning that they've agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Japanese relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa. The terms of the deal with the 32-year-old reliever were not disclosed, but the Cubs did add that the contract includes a vesting club option for the 2015 season:
New #Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa poses for photos at Wrigley Field wearing his #11. twitter.com/Cubs/status/27…— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) December 7, 2012
Fujikawa pitched 12 seasons in Japan for the Hinshin Tigers, where he recorded 220 saves and compiled a 42-25 record while producing a 1.77 ERA over that span. The Cubs hope the right-handed pitcher can shore up a bullpen that was unstable last year.
Carlos Marmol caused plenty of problems in the bullpen with his inconsistency, so it's possible that Fujikawa could compete for the closer's job heading into 2013. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told the media that Marmol is still the team's closer, but he's been on the trade market for the better part of a year so there's always the possibility of a shakeup.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also pursued Fujikawa, but he told reporters that the Cubs were always his No. 1 option.