The Chicago Cubs have signed former Angels and Pirates' left-hander Hisanori Takahashi to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league spring training, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Source in Japan says lefty reliever Hisanori Takahashi has agreed with Cubs on a minor league deal with big league invite.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 28, 2012
Originally signed out of Japan in 2010 by the New York Mets, the 37-year-old southpaw spent much of the 2011-2012 seasons in the bullpen for the Los Angeles Angels. Takahashi posted a solid 3.44 ERA in 68 innings for the Halos in his inaugural year in Orange County, but struggles throughout his sophomore campaign with the club led to his being placed on waivers in August.
The Pirates claimed the left-hander shortly thereafter but did not tender him a new contract by the October deadline, making him a free agent.
Takahashi owns a 3.97 ERA and 8.2 K/9 rate in his 240⅓ big-league innings over the past three seasons. He does not boast a very strong platoon split so the Cubs may look to use him in a mop-up role rather than as a LOOGY if he does make the big-league squad out of camp.