Skip to content

Cubs ink Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa to two-year, $9.5 million deal

Dec 1, 2012, 4:59 PM EDT

Kyuji Fujikawa Getty Images

UPDATE: Rosenthal reports that Fujikawa is guaranteed $9.5 million as part of his deal with the Cubs. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change for a rebuilding team to give to a closer, especially one who has never pitched in the United States, but the Cubs are obviously confident he can make an impact in the late innings.

Fujikama will receive a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $4 million for 2013 and 2014. The vesting option for 2015 is worth $5.5 million and could increase to $6 million based on games finished. If the option doesn’t vest, the Cubs hold a $5.5 million club option that can be bought out for $500,000.

4:50 PM: We heard last night that the Angels were considered the front-runners to land Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa. But it turns out he’ll be headed elsewhere.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have an agreement in place with Fujikawa. No word yet on the terms involved, but Rosenthal hears that the 32-year-old right-hander will get a two-year deal with a vesting option for a third.

Fujikawa is coming off a dominant run in Japan in which he posted a 1.36 ERA and 202 saves over the past six seasons with the Hanshin Tigers. Armed with a low-90s fastball, a slider and a forkball, he had a 1.32 ERA and 58/15 K/BB ratio over 47 2/3 innings this past season.

Rosenthal notes that Fujikawa will likely be used as the Cubs’ closer, so Carlos Marmol figures to be on the trade block in the coming days and weeks. The 30-year-old right-hander is owed $9.8 million next season and is due to hit free agency next offseason. He was nearly traded to the Angels last month for Dan Haren, but the deal reportedly fell apart due to concerns over Haren’s medicals.

Latest Posts
  1. Dan Uggla on potential bench role with Nationals: “That’s not what I’m looking to do.”

    Mar 29, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Dan Uggla Dan Uggla

    Dan Uggla, who is having a strong spring training showing, says he wouldn’t be comfortable sitting on the Nationals’ bench.

  2. Phillies move Ben Revere to left field to make room for Odubel Herrera in center

    Mar 29, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Ben Revere Ben Revere

    Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg shook up his outfield a bit on Sunday, announcing that Ben Revere would be moving to left field.

  3. Cole Hamels to start Opening Day for Phillies

    Mar 29, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

    cole hamels getty Getty Images

    Hamels tossed five scoreless innings in his latest Grapefruit League start. He’ll take on the Red Sox on April 6 — a team he has been connected to in trade talks throughout the offseason.

  4. Christian Vazquez to visit Dr. James Andrews

    Mar 29, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    christian vazquez getty Getty Images

    Ryan Hanigan is expected to open the season as Boston’s starting catcher. And season-ending surgery for Vazquez would likely accelerate the timetable for top prospect Blake Swihart’s debut.

  5. Koji Uehara has setback with right hamstring, will not be ready for beginning of season

    Mar 29, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT

    uehara getty Getty Images

    Uehara originally strained his right hamstring on March 17 while doing conditioning drills in Red Sox camp.

  6. Video: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson talks baseball

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    russell wilson

    Russell Wilson spent nearly seven minutes with the Rangers’ television crew on Saturday …

  7. Red Sox name Clay Buchholz as Opening Day starter

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT

    clay buchholz getty Getty Images

    According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England, the Red Sox have named right-hander Clay Buchholz their Opening Day starter.

  8. Henderson Alvarez named Marlins’ Opening Day starter

    Mar 29, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT

    henderson alvarez getty Getty Images

    Jose Fernandez would have been given the nod, but he’s not expected to be recovered from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery until sometime in June.

  9. Braves release left-hander James Russell

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT

    james russell getty Getty Images

    MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves have released left-hander James Russell.

  10. Ichiro compares being a free agent to being a puppy in a pet shop

    Mar 28, 2015, 11:25 PM EDT

    Ichiro Suzuki Ichiro Suzuki

    Let Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki tell you how being a free agent is like being a puppy in a pet shop.

  11. Mariners prospect Victor Sanchez has died

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    mariners logo

    Promising Mariners pitching prospect Victor Sanchez died on Saturday night after he was involved in an unfortunate boating accident in February.

  12. Nate Schierholtz opts out of contract with the Rangers

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Nate Schierholtz Nate Schierholtz

    Outfielder Nate Schierholtz is a free agent again, opting out of his contract with the Rangers after a disappointing spring showing.

  13. Videos: Young talent on display as Bryce Harper homers and Mike Trout robs a homer

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:05 PM EDT

    Mike Trout Mike Trout

    Two baseball superstars put their talented display in spring training action on Saturday afternoon.

  14. Jaime Garcia scratched from Sunday start due to shoulder setback

    Mar 28, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia

    More shoulder problems for Jaime Garcia, who has made 16 combined starts since the beginning of the 2013 season.

  15. The Shane Victorino saga with Boston radio personalities continues

    Mar 28, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino Shane Victorino

    Shane Victorino didn’t like the way a pair of radio personalities in Boston interpreted his desire to see the Red Sox acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies.

  16. Giants catcher Matt Paré talks about the not-so-glamorous life in the minor leagues

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    giants logo

    Giants minor league catcher Matt Paré discussed the thrifty lifestyles minor league players are forced into.

  17. Video: Alex Rodriguez connects for his third home run of the spring

    Mar 28, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    Rodriguez is now batting .306 (11-for-36) with three home runs, a double and a .925 OPS across 15 games this spring.

  18. Report: Mets talking contract extension with Lucas Duda

    Mar 28, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Lucas Duda AP

    Lucas Duda is coming off a breakout year with the Mets and the two sides are now discussing a contract extension.

  19. Didi Gregorius suffers left wrist sprain, X-rays come back negative

    Mar 28, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    Travis d'Arnaud, Didi Gregorius AP

    Gregorius injured his wrist Saturday while trying to dive for a ground ball in the second inning.

  20. Felix Doubront granted his release by the Cubs

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    Doubront really struggled during Cactus League action, allowing nine runs on 17 hits (including two home runs) in seven innings across four appearances.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Fernandez (4147)
  2. H. Olivera (3967)
  3. K. Bryant (3733)
  4. Y. Tomas (3654)
  5. S. Doolittle (3652)
  1. G. Richards (3563)
  2. C. Rodon (3538)
  3. A. Cobb (3522)
  4. H. Ryu (3517)
  5. J. Kipnis (3503)