Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa has begun visiting several big-league clubs with the hope of signing on with one as a free agent, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News:
Free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, whom the Texas Rangers have scouted, has started visits with major-league clubs. Fujikawa, considered among the top closers in Nippon Pro Baseball over the last decade, toured the facilities of Arizona and the Chicago Cubs in the last week.
He is expected to also visit with the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, both of whom have expressed interest.
The 32-year-old Fujikawa has spent the last twelve seasons pitching in the NPB – all with the Hanshin Tigers – and owns a stellar 1.36 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 rate and 12.4 K/9 rate in nearly three hundred fifty appearances over the past six years. Fujikawa is said to boast a mid-90s fastball with late life on it – which is his go-to pitch – but throws a forkball and curveball.
Because he is a free agent, Fujikawa does not require a posting fee to negotiate with, and can be signed by any team so long as they accord to the new CBA’s spending restrictions for international free agents.