Cubs sign Kyuji Fujikawa

The Cubs signed 32 year old Japanese free agent Kyuji Fujikawa to a 2-year deal worth $9.2 million. The contract includes a vesting option for 2015 depending on games finished that be worth either $5.5 million or $6 million.

Word on the street is that this guy sits in the 92-94 mph range and can touch 95-97 depending on which scouting report you read. His numbers in Japan are comical (12.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 5.4 H/9, 1.36 ERA).

If there's one concern it's that he's thrown fewer innings the last couple years. In 2007 he threw 83 innings and over the next 3 years he threw between 57 and 67 innings. He threw only 51 in 2011 and 47.2 this past season.

I don't believe the Cubs have said what role he'll have with the Cubs, but if they manage to trade Carlos Marmol it's probable he'll be a closer and be asked to throw 65 to 70 innings. I don't have any idea what the Cubs will get out of this guy, but I do know it won't be anywhere near as good as he's been in Japan. Yu Darvish had a 1.72 career ERA in Japan as a starter and it was nearly 4 in the US. Below is an image of Daisuke Matsuzaka's ERA since 2001.

Yesterday the Cubs non-tendered Ian Stewart, Zach Putnam and Jaye Chapman. A day earlier they DFA'd Casey Coleman to make room for Scott Feldman.