The Chicago Cubs have gotten some work done just prior to the beginning of Winter Meetings, reportedly signing Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year deal worth $9.5 million with a vesting option for a third year, according to Ken Rosenthal.
The 32-year-old Fujikawa was granted free agency this winter after spending 12 years with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball. In his 12 seasons with the Tigers, he recorded 220 saves with an impressive 1.77 career ERA.
The Cubs will likely use Fujikawa as their closer, shifting current closer Carlos Marmol to a set-up role or trading him. They have shown an interest and willingness to trade Marmol in the past, as he was nearly traded earlier this winter to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Dan Haren. But that trade fell through due to concerns about Haren's health.
Fujikawa's contract breakdown, according to Rosenthal, pays him a $1 million signing bonus and a salary of $4 million in each of 2013 and 2014. If the third-year option vests, it could be worth either $5.5 or $6 million based on number of games finished.