The Chicago Cubs landed a new closer on Saturday, signing Japanese free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to major-league sources...
The Cubs likely will use him to replace right-hander Carlos Marmol, whom they attempted to trade to the Los Angeles Angels earlier this offseason.
The 32-year-old Fujikawa has a vesting option for a third year valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, depending on the number of games finished. The right-hander also has up to $2 million in performance incentives he can earn each of his first two seasons, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, bringing the maximum payout of his contract to $19.5 million over three years.
Fujikawa has spent his entire professional career with the Hanshin Tigers, posting a Mariano Rivera-esque 1.77 ERA and racking up 220 saves over 12 seasons with the club.
The Angels were believed to be the favorites for Fujikawa before the Cubs swept in and signed the veteran right-hander. With Carlos Marmol now out of a job, Chicago could reopen trade talks with the Halos for the hard-throwing right-hander, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.