Cubs leave meetings with few new pieces

December, 6, 2012
Levine By Bruce Levine
Kyuji FujikawaTOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty ImagesKyuji Fujikawa, who scouts say has a 91-93 mph fastball, will give the Cubs another option in the bullpen.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago Cubs leave baseball's winter meetings with a slight sense of accomplishment after adding some depth to their 2013 team.

The Cubs will announce at a Friday news conference that they have come to terms with Japanese relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa on a two-year contract. As soon as Nate Schierholtz passes a physical he will be announced as the team's right fielder, or at least as part of a platoon.

"If you want to get the players you target you have to be aggressive," said general manager Jed Hoyer, whose goal this offseason was to add to the pitching staff, outfield and third base. "If you are aggressive in December sometimes in January and February you get guys (free agents ) that fall to you that may have overplayed their hand, or may have slipped through the cracks. Those aren't the guys you targeted. They are guys that happen to be there when you have some money at the end."

The Cubs addressed their need at third base when they agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with Ian Stewart on Thursday.

The Cubs are still looking at free agent pitching and has some interest in former White Sox starter Brandon McCarthy. They have talked to his agent and have an offer on the table, according to a major league source.

The Cubs also added Hector Rondon after selecting the right-handed pitcher with the second pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.

After signing starters Scott Feldman and Scott Baker, the Cubs feel good about the addition of Rondon even with his history of elbow problems.

"We really spent a lot of time with him in (winter ball )," Hoyer said. "Our scouts did a good job down there getting to know him a little bit. We felt like this guy has a chance to be real good right away. If he can stay healthy, that has been his challenge, the stuff coming out of his hand has been really impressive right now."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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